Author Archives: Steven Date

A Message from Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins

Hello Neighbors;

Fall has arrived, the kids are back in school, (most online, I know), these are challenging times for us all. On Monday of this week the Mayor and I announced aid to small businesses struggling to rebuild after the unrest. These efforts will center people of color owned buildings and businesses.

I know that there is still much appropriate concern regarding the increase in violence we’ve seen recently. Here are some of the steps MPD has taken in recent weeks to respond to these increases:

  • Consolidated units: Gang Interdiction Team (GIT), Safe Streets Unit, and our Weapons Unit have been combined to form a new Gun Violence Response Team
  • 911 response contingencies are in effect: Community Engagement Team, Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (VCAT), School Resource Officers, and some of MPD’s Procedural Justice Unit have all been re-assigned to respond to 911 calls
  • Officers have been re-assigned to ensure gaps are filled, including detailing 5 officers to Sgt. positions.

In total, roughly 90 officers have been re-assigned. Additionally, the first MinneapolUS Violence Interrupters team hit the streets this week, with more set to begin work as contracts are finalized.

Lastly, I continue to extend my condolences to the families and loved ones of the 239 Minneapolitans who have lost their lives to this virus, as well as we mourn the loss of Supreme Court Justice and feminist Icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, may she Rest. In. Power. I also send love and support to all of us who were re-traumatized, shocked and dismayed by the travesty of justice denied to the family of Breonna Taylor. We must continue to work together to reimagine public safety and a criminal justice system that is fair and equitable for everyone.

Stay Safe, stay healthy and make a plan to vote

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Articles Featured in this E-newsletter


Federal District Court ruling reinstates Oct. 31 2020 Census deadline; Complete your census today!

Census deadline extension graphic

A federal district court ruled to extend the census timeline to the modified deadline of October 31, 2020. The original July 31 deadline was adjusted to Oct. 31 to mitigate outreach efforts and delays due to the pandemic but was subsequently revised and reduced a full month to Sept. 30. The decision to issue additional time for enumeration will help to provide a more robust and thorough outreach plan and lessen the projected undercount.

This ruling means the U.S. Census Bureau will cease wrapping up its door-knocking and non-response follow-up efforts, and enumeration efforts will continue through Oct. 31 and not stop on Sept. 30. 

The Census occurs once every decade, determining where $1.5 trillion in federal resources are distributed for transportation, housing, schools, health insurance, social service programs and infrastructure, including nearly $15 billion for Minnesota. Additionally, the data collected by the census determines political representation; with Minnesota at risk for losing a congressional seat, a thorough and accurate census count is vital to the safety, success and future of our city and state.

“The decision by the court to reinstate the Oct. 31 census deadline is a victory for the people,” said Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins. “The extended timeline gives us an opportunity to ensure our most vulnerable community members are included in the 2020 census count. We all count, and today’s decision moves us one step closer to ensuring we all are counted.”  Read the City’s full press release here.

The opportunity to count ourselves and our communities happens only once every 10 years, and we now have only an extra month to ensure every one of us, everywhere, is counted. Without an accurate count of everyone, we could be in jeopardy of missing out on valuable resources, political representation and a voice in decision-making that affects all of our lives.

The time to act is now; get counted. Visit My2020census.gov to complete the census before the Oct. 31st deadline.


City leaders highlight new recovery aid for small businesses

city of minneapolis banner

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and I have highlighted new City funding to support economic recovery in Minneapolis at a news conference Monday.

Together, we are proposing $7 million in new City investment, including $2 million in direct support for demolition work for businesses whose demolition costs are not covered by insurance and $5 million for the City’s Commercial Property Development Fund (CPDF).

City staff have been working with property and business owners since June to support clean-up plans along corridors impacted by civil unrest. While many building owners have clean-up costs in excess of insurance benefits, the City has identified 16 sites where property owners are struggling with clean up funding gaps in excess of $100,000 each.

The City is committing to cleaning those 16 sites with $2 million from a combination of funding sources, including newly received federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program income and unspent CDBG funds from previous years.

The CPDF is a new City financial tool that provides developers and small businesses with patient debt capital on favorable terms to facilitate the acquisition and/or completion of commercial real estate development in areas of Minneapolis that have experienced historic disinvestment and are now vulnerable to displacement pressures.

Last month the Minneapolis Forward Community Now Coalition – a cross-sector coalition that will help transform Minneapolis into a stronger, equitable, inclusive, resilient, and innovative city – delivered recommendations in four areas. Those recommendations included strategies to address wealth building though community-owned real estate development projects led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) developers and owners.

The City seeded the CPDF with $2.9 million in the 2020 budget and has already committed funding for several key projects in North Minneapolis. Frey and Jenkins are now recommending an additional $5 million investment in the CPDF to support priority commercial real estate projects.


38th & Chicago update: Public Works Staff seeking feedback on winter design options through Sunday, Oct. 4

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Minneapolis Public Works is considering options for an interim winter street design for Chicago Avenue between 37th Street and 39th Street, and 38th Street between Elliot Avenue and Columbus Avenue. Public Works is working to ensure that essential access is retained through the winter. Ensuring essential winter access requires some adjustments in the area; no decision has been made on the final details of the winter design or timing of implementation.

Based on community feedback about the streets, Public Works has developed options for an interim winter design for streets in the area. These designs work to:

  • Preserve space for mourning and reflection.
  • Increase public visibility and safety.
  • Preserve as much public art as possible.
  • Ensure essential winter access for emergency vehicles, utilities, local deliveries and local residents.
  • Improve access for residents, businesses and transit.
  • Provide an interim design, not a return to before.

Review the design options.

You can share feedback on the winter options in this questionnaire, which is open through Sunday, Oct. 4.

Besides the questionnaire, Public Works staff are hosting an online open house to present briefly on winter street design options and answer questions.

38th and Chicago winter street design options online open house 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1 Link to join

Visit the City’s website to learn more.


Make sure you’re registered to vote; Early voting has begun for the Nov. 3 election

your city your vote

Early voting has begun for the Nov. 3 general election. Ballots may be cast early by mail or in person at the Early Vote Center, 980 E. Hennepin Ave.

Registering and voting by mail

If you’ve never voted before and need to register, now is the perfect time. If it’s been more than four years since you last voted, or you’ve moved or changed your name since you last registered, you’ll also need to re-register. Any 17-year-old who will be 18 on or before election day may also register to vote now. Minnesotans can check their voter registration status before re-registering.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging voting early by mail to avoid contacting others during the COVID-19 pandemic. Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services supports this and other CDC and Minneapolis Department of Health recommendations to make sure every voter in Minneapolis can safely cast their ballots this election year. Voters applying to vote by mail who have not registered will get registration information with their mail ballot.

The City recommends applying for a mail ballot at least 14 days before Nov. 3 election.

Voters can also register in-person when voting early or at their polling place on Election Day. However, registering in advance of reduces the time spent there and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

More information is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov.

Changes to voting by mail

Any Minnesota voter can vote early; no reason is needed. However, due to a recent court action, some of the requirements for voting by mail have changed. These affect witness requirements and the deadline for returning your ballot.

  • If you are registered to vote at your current address you will not need a mail ballot witness.
  • If you have moved, changed names or need to register for the first time, you will need a witness to sign your mail ballot envelope.

A voter’s ballot will count as long as it is postmarked on or before Election Day (Nov. 3) and is received in the mail no later than seven days after Election Day (Nov. 10). This is a change from previous election law requiring mail ballots to be received by Election Day. Please note that if voters deliver their ballot in-person to the Elections & Voter Services office, it still must be returned by 3 p.m. on Nov. 3.

More information on how to vote by mail is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/bymail.

Voting at the Early Vote Center

The Early Vote Center, 980 E. Hennepin Ave., makes early in-person voting more convenient for Minneapolis voters. It’s especially helpful to people who need language support or other special accommodations, such as curbside voting. While we are in a pandemic, voting early can help people avoid lines and crowds at polling places on the day of the election.

The Early Vote Center’s hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The center will have extended hours for the final two weeks of voting, including Saturday and Sunday hours. For the last seven days of early voting, the City will open two additional Early Vote Centers. All early voting hours and locations are posted on the Elections & Voter Services website: vote.minneapolismn.gov.

Voters can save time by taking these three steps

  1. Make sure you’re registered to vote, or pre-register at least 21 days before the election. Voters can register or check the status of their registrations at minneapolismn.gov/voters/register.
  2. Download and complete the absentee ballot application form in advance and bring it when you go to vote early. Find the request form at minneapolismn.gov/voters/bymail.
  3. Look at a sample ballot ahead of time; even bring it to refer to when you go to vote. Find your sample ballot at minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.

State law allows voters to bring materials into the polls to help complete their ballots — and the sample ballot is the single, best tool available for this purpose. By downloading and printing their sample ballots (which are customized to their specific ward and precinct), voters can practice marking their ballots. They can bring this marked-up sample ballot as a reference to the voting booth when completing their official ballots. This is the best way to reduce the time spent waiting in lines.

Elections website has a new look

Just in time for the Nov. 3 general election, the City’s Elections & Voter Services website is out with a new look and improved functionality. Check it out at vote.minneapolismn.gov.

The new features include:

  • Simpler design and improved organization make it easier to find what you want.
  • More compatibility with smart phones.
  • Improved search tool.
  • Handles increased website traffic more effectively.

Free COVID-19 testing events coming up

city of minneapolis banner

The City of Minneapolis is offering free COVID-19 tests in Minneapolis communities. All are welcome.

Free COVID-19 tests focused on the East African community Noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 Abubakar As-Sadique Islamic Center, 2824 13th Ave. S. Register onsite.

You can expect to get your test results in about two days.

Resources

The COVID-19 test is free, and you do not need insurance for the test. If you need medical care but don’t have health insurance, the Minnesota Department of Health offers resources to find low-cost health care or health insurance.

Testing for other communities

Free COVID-19 tests focused on the Cedar-Riverside community hosted by Pillsbury United 1-4 p.m. every Friday Brian Coyle Center, 420 15th Ave. S. Note: Double-check with Pillsbury United for possible updates before heading over.

If you are unable to attend one of these testing events, you can use this directory to find a testing location near you.


Updates on the City’s Transforming Public Safety Workgroup

transforming public safety engagment principles

Engagement Principles for Transforming Public Safety Workgroup from Sept. 24th Presentation

This week, the Public Health and Safety Committee approved an outline for a community engagement plan to help improve our public safety system in Minneapolis. Under the proposed plan, community members citywide will have opportunities to offer feedback on alternatives to policing and police responses, public health-oriented violence prevention, and law enforcement reforms and/or changes to protocols and practices. The process is divided into four phases:

  • Phase One (October 2020 through December 2020): a community survey and public forums focused on the current model of community safety and opportunities for changes, with a synthesis of initial themes presented to the Council in early December along with a draft vision for consideration and adoption by the Council
  • Phase Two (January 2021 through March 2021): public forums where community members can review and confirm the themes and goals established in the first phase plus a deeper dive into ideas for a new public safety model to help inform draft recommendations of actions steps to realize the established vision and goals
  • Phase Three (April 2021 through May 2021): opportunities to offer feedback on draft recommendations at public forums and online
  • Phase Four (June 2021 through July 2021): recommendations will be refined and finalized, incorporating community feedback gathered throughout the engagement process, with a final report to the Council on strategies for building a new model for community safety

You can review the legislative file here and watch the full presentation outlining the proposed engagement process here.

Recommendations made through this process will focus on but may not be limited to intermediate policy changes, investments and partnerships that support a public health approach to community safety, alternatives to policing, and research and engagement to inform the potential creation of a new Department of Community Safety. There will be a review and analysis of existing models, programs, and practices that could be applied in Minneapolis. Further, this process will build on the work already underway to refine and improve our 911 response and shift certain calls for help to responders other than MPD. It will also identify resources needed to support recommendations.

The proposed engagement plan is a key component of the City Council’s commitment, unanimously adopted by the City Council in June, to a year-long process for gathering input, conducting research, and exploring structural change. The full City Council will consider the plan at its meeting next Friday, Oct. 2.


Mayor Jacob Frey outlines more detailed plan for proposed 2021 City budget

city of minneapolis banner

Mayor Jacob Frey has released his finalized 2021 budget proposal for the City of Minneapolis.

With a limited 5.75% maximum levy increase and 12% increase in the overall tax base growth, three-quarters of Minneapolis residential property owners will see a decrease in their property tax bill with the median-valued household set to experience a $59 yearly decrease.

Despite the COVID shortfall, Frey’s 2021 budget proposal includes a $7.2 million increase in ongoing funding for affordable housing work, his top priority. That new, ongoing support includes a major boost to the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which was previously funded at $800,000 on an ongoing basis.

The ongoing funding commitment for affordable housing represents another record-setting benchmark for Frey who has invested in housing initiatives at the highest levels in city history in both of his first two years. The ongoing funding allocation also makes permanent the Stable Homes Stable Schools initiative – a program launched by Frey that, to-date, has ended or prevented homelessness for more than 2,000 kids in 745 Minneapolis Public School families with elementary school-aged children.

To support rebuilding and recovery efforts for businesses impacted by COVID and civil unrest, Frey will be allocating $5 million in one-time TIF funding for the Commercial Property Development Fund (CPDF) along with $500,000 in ongoing funding for the CPDF, at least $400,000 in supports for the Minneapolis Forward Community Now Coalition, and $250,000 ongoing funding for the Green Energy Cost Share program specifically for economic recovery.

The budget also invests in several safety beyond policing priorities and violence prevention work, including an expansion of the mental-health co-responder program, $2.5 million for the MinneapolUS violence interrupters initiative, and $300,000 of ongoing funding to support the continued implementation of the recommendations from the Mayor’s opioid task-force, including the First Step hospital-based overdose intervention program. Funding is further expanded by $50,000 to pilot a peer recovery initiative in partnership with the Minneapolis Fire Department.

Frey utilized a combination of an enterprise-wide hiring freeze, across-the board reductions in spending, an early retirement incentive, and broad departmental reorganization mandates to maintain current service levels while minimizing layoffs to 19. As Frey explained last month during his address, the hiring freeze will allow for flexibility in future planning and annual savings across the enterprise, including over $11 million from the Minneapolis Police Department.

The Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET) voted to adopt the maximum levy Sept. 23.

A link to the 2021 budget book can be found here.


35W@94 Downtown to Crosstown Construction Updates

mndot logo

I-35W weekend closure scheduled for Oct. 2-5

MnDOT crews need to finish some miscellaneous work throughout the project, including paving, overhead sign installation, moving barrier and making utility connections. To do this work, MnDOT will be closing northbound I-35W between Hwy 62 and I-94 from 10 p.m. on Fri, Oct. 2 to 5 a.m. Mon, Oct. 5. Southbound I-35W will be closed between I-94 and Hwy 62 from 5 a.m. Sat, Oct. 3 through 5 a.m. Mon, Oct. 5. Crews will be working 24 hours a day during the weekend closure. Drivers will be detoured around the closure using Hwy 62, Hwy 100 and I-394.

In addition to the weekend closure, northbound I-35W will be reduced to two lanes between 46th St. and I-94 from 9 a.m. Fri, Oct. 2 through 3 p.m. Tue, Oct. 6 to allow crews to prepare for the concrete paving and time for it to cure before barrier is placed on it.

Please drive safely in work zones

  • Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution
  • Stay alert; work zones constantly change
  • Watch for workers and slow moving equipment
  • Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300.
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel
  • Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times

All closures are weather permitting and subject to change.

Road work continues to be a critical service. MnDOT is committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of its employees, contractors and all Minnesotans. Crews continue to follow the guidance of state and federal health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Stay connected

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit 511mn.org or dial 5-1-1.


Learn about the Office of Violence Prevention’s latest MinneapolUS Street Outreach initiative

Meet the MinneapolUS team

Meet the new MinneapolUS Street Outreach Team, modeled after Cure Violence International Outreach.

The Minneapolis Health Department’s Office of Violence Prevention is developing a new initiative modeled after successful global efforts like Cure Violence. The model complements existing outreach organizations already on our streets, employing a specific approach built on the idea that violence is a public health issue. By identifying and interrupting conflicts and working to promote community healing, the initiative is intended to break the “contagious” aspects of violence such as retaliation.

How does it work?

Using informal mediation, non-physical conflict resolution and interruption expertise, trusted community members will work on our streets to stop conflicts before they happen and as they happen. They’ll also work to foster healing and mobilize communities to reject violence through strategies like awareness building, community gatherings and peace walks.

These trusted community members on neighborhood-specific teams have themselves experienced violence or are familiar with the impacts violence has on communities. They have strong relationships with young adults, neighborhood members, community leaders and service providers.

They will also work to connect people to jobs, housing, mental health and chemical dependency services, and other resources and supports.

Watch the City website for more information about this initiative and the Office of Violence Prevention as it becomes available.


Creative CityMaking Grants awarded to 10 projects focused on creative community healing

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Murals of Tony McDade, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Image provided by Creatiev After Curfew, photo credit: Leslie Barlow

The City of Minneapolis has approved 10 projects for urgently needed artist-led creative healing in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the subsequent community uprisings. Current and former Creative CityMaking artists will lead the 10 selected projects as they respond to this historic moment in Minneapolis. The first funding priority was given to Black artists working with communities who have historically experienced the stress and trauma of racial discrimination.

Repurposing resources provided by the Kresge Foundation to the Creative CityMaking program, the City’s Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy allocated this $100,000 in Creative Response Fund grants to mobilize the unique and specialized skills of artists and designers to engage with and expand the impact of healing and community support. These grant dollars also recognize the unpaid labor of artists and designers as they respond to multiple health and racism emergencies to support community needs.

Awardees and projects

  • Sam Ero Phillips, “Haircuts for Change.”
  • Mankwe Ndosi and Griffen Jeffries; “Communities’ Wisdom, Imagination and Connection.”
  • Sha Cage, “AT THE CORNER OF ________.”
  • Witt Siasoco and CarryOn Homes team (Aki Shibata, Zoe Cinel, Preston Drum, Peng Wu and Shun Jie Yong), “CarryOn Homes Northeast.”
  • Keegan Xavi and Sayge Carroll, “Harvest Feast.”
  • E.G. Bailey, “New Neighbors Building Community Through Film.”
  • D.A. Bullock, “excited delirium.”
  • Caroline Karanja, “East African Collective.”
  • Candida Gonzalez and Creatives After Curfew, “Art for Nervous Systems.”
  • Roxanne Anderson and Anna Meyer, “Rising From The Ashes.”

All of the events will follow the State’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

Read more.


Minneapolis Animal Care & Control offering free rabies vaccinations for World Rabies Day

world rabbies day graphic

Between Sept. 28 and Oct. 2, Minneapolis residents who have or buy a current pet license can get a free rabies vaccination for their pets in honor of World Rabies Day Sept. 28. Sign up for an appointment using this form or by calling 311 or 612-673-6222.

World Rabies Day is a global health observance started in 2007 to raise awareness about rabies and enhance prevention and control efforts worldwide. The theme for World Rabies Day 2020 is “Rabies: Vaccinate to Eliminate.” While rabies is a 100% preventable disease, more than 59,000 people die from the disease around the world each year – 95% of them from an unvaccinated pet. World Rabies Day is an opportunity to reflect on efforts to control this deadly disease and a reminder that the fight is not yet over.

Make an appointment

If your pet needs to be vaccinated, Minneapolis Animal Care & Control offers low-cost pet vaccinations by appointment. Minneapolis residents can sign up for an appointment using this form or by calling 311 or 612-673-6222. If you request an appointment between Sept. 28 and Oct. 2, the $10 charge for a rabies vaccination will be waived.

Services available by appointment:

  • Rabies vaccination: $10. This fee will be waived if you request a vaccination appointment between Sept. 28 and Oct. 2.
  • DA2PP (distemper combination for dogs) vaccination: $10.
  • PRC (distemper combination for cats) vaccination: $10.
  • Microchip: $10.

Minneapolis Animal Care & Control offers low-cost pet vaccinations by appointment to follow safe COVID-19 guidelines and ensure there aren’t too many people in the shelter at one time. Because of capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is only open to residents of Minneapolis who have or buy a current pet license.


Notice: Fall street sweeping begins Oct. 20

street sweeping graphic

Crews will sweep streets across Minneapolis next month to clean the streets before winter to keep leaves and debris out of the storm drains and ending up in our lakes and rivers as much as possible.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, Minneapolis Public Works will begin the big task of curb-to-curb sweeping and leaf collection on streets throughout the city. During the four weeks of the comprehensive fall street sweep, crews will clean about 1,

Ward 8 Update: Council VP Andrea Jenkins

Early voting has begun for the Nov. 3 General Election; You can still apply to get your ballot in the mail

stay at home. vote by mail.

Early voting began Friday, Sept. 18 for the Nov. 3 general election. Ballots may be cast early by mail or in person at the Early Vote Center, 980 E. Hennepin Ave.

The City is mailing 114,873 requested mail-in ballots to Minneapolis voters. Voters who applied early should allow seven to 10 days for their ballot to arrive. Voters who applied this week should allow 15-20 days for their ballot to arrive.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging voting early by mail, and Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services supports this and other CDC and Minneapolis Department of Health recommendations to make sure every voter in Minneapolis can safely cast their ballots this election year.

Changes to voting by mail

Any Minnesota voter can vote early; no reason is needed. However, due to a recent court action, some of the requirements for voting by mail have changed. These affect witness requirements and the deadline for returning your ballot.

  • If you are registered to vote at your current address you will not need a mail ballot witness.
  • If you have moved, changed names or need to register for the first time, you will need a witness to sign your mail ballot envelope.

A voter’s ballot will count as long as it is postmarked on or before Election Day (Nov. 3) and is received in the mail no later than seven days after Election Day (Nov. 10). This is a change from previous election law requiring mail ballots to be received by Election Day. Please note that if voters deliver their ballot in-person to the Elections & Voter Services office, it still must be returned by 3 p.m. on Nov. 3.

For the Aug. 11 State Primary, a court decision allowed an individual voter to return an unlimited number of other voters’ mail ballots. For the general election, this decision has been reversed, and voters may only return mail ballots for up to three other voters. When returning another voter’s ballot, identification with name and signature is required and paperwork must be completed. More information on how to vote by mail is available at vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/bymail.

Voting at the Early Vote Center

The Early Vote Center, 980 E. Hennepin Ave., makes early in-person voting more convenient for Minneapolis voters. It’s especially helpful to people who need language support or other special accommodations, such as curbside voting. While we are in a pandemic, voting early can help people avoid lines and crowds at polling places on the day of the election.

The Early Vote Center’s hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The center will have extended hours for the final two weeks of voting, including Saturday and Sunday hours. For the last seven days of early voting, the City will open two additional Early Vote Centers. All early voting hours and locations are posted on the Elections & Voter Services website: vote.minneapolismn.gov.

Voters can save time by taking these three steps

  1. Make sure you’re registered to vote, or pre-register at least 21 days before the election. Voters can register or check the status of their registrations at minneapolismn.gov/voters/register.
  2. Download and complete the absentee ballot application form in advance and bring it when you go to vote early. Find the request form at minneapolismn.gov/voters/bymail.
  3. Look at a sample ballot ahead of time; even bring it to refer to when you go to vote. Find your sample ballot at minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.

State law allows voters to bring materials into the polls to help complete their ballots — and the sample ballot is the single, best tool available for this purpose. By downloading and printing their sample ballots (which are customized to their specific ward and precinct), voters can practice marking their ballots. They can bring this marked-up sample ballot as a reference to the voting booth when completing their official ballots. This is the best way to reduce the time spent waiting in lines.

Elections website has a new look

Just in time for the Nov. 3 general election, the City’s Elections & Voter Services website is out with a new look and improved functionality. Check it out at vote.minneapolismn.gov.

The new features include:

  • Simpler design and improved organization make it easier to find what you want.
  • More compatibility with smart phones.
  • Improved search tool.
  • Handles increased website traffic more effectively.

Minneapolis census response reaches a milestone, but we still need everyone to complete the Census by Sept. 30

census deadline

Minneapolis has reached a milestone in its 2020 Census count by meeting the 2010 Census self-response rate of 72.8%. Meanwhile, hundreds of households in Minneapolis remain uncounted. This undercount could leave communities without resources and fair political representation for the next 10 years.

What can you do to help?

  1. Complete the census.
  2. Already completed the census? Encourage your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.
  3. Share census information on social media. Post the link: my2020census.gov and tell your networks about the importance of getting counted.

The data that is obtained by the census allows the federal government to determine where to allocate resources for things like schools, parks, roads and much more. Our communities deserve the proper funding for resources that we rely on including programs and services like SNAP, Medicaid, CHIP and Head Start.

If your household misses the opportunity to complete the census this year, the next opportunity to be included won’t occur until 2030, so don’t wait. Complete the census for you and for everyone in your household including all children and all relatives that live with you. Visit My2020census.gov or call 1-844-330-2020 and get counted before the Sept. 30 deadline.


Free COVID-19 testing and flu shot events coming up sponsored by the City and Community Partners

CIty of Minneapolis banner

The City of Minneapolis is offering free COVID-19 tests and flu shots in Minneapolis communities. All are welcome.

Free COVID-19 tests focused on the East African community Noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 Abubakar As-Sadique Islamic Center, 2824 13th Ave. S. Register onsite.

You can expect to get your test results in about two days.

Resources

The COVID-19 test is free, and you do not need insurance for the test. If you need medical care but don’t have health insurance, the Minnesota Department of Health offers resources to find low-cost health care or health insurance.

Testing for other communities

Free COVID-19 tests focused on the Cedar-Riverside community hosted by Pillsbury United 1-4 p.m. every Friday Brian Coyle Center, 420 15th Ave. S. Note: Double-check with Pillsbury United for possible updates before heading over.

If you are unable to attend one of these testing events, you can use this directory to find a testing location near you.


Free Covid-19 Tests provided by Heads Up Health USA at the George Floyd Memorial every Sunday 12-4 pm

heads up health photo

Heads Up Health USA is providing Community Health & Safety services at no cost to the Community by offering free Covid 19 Tests every Sunday 12 pm to 4 pm at the George Floyd Memorial at the intersection of 38th and Chicago Ave S.

Sign Petition: https://www.change.org/GeorgeFloyd-Residents

For more questions about Covid -19 Antibody Testing: https://health.ultalabtests.com/covid-19/

Donate to Heads up Heath Covid Testing George Floyd Residential Zone is.gd/4isO3X


MN Polution Control Agency to Host Air Permitting Engagement Workshops September 21-23

Air Permitting Engagement Workshop promotion

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Environmental Protection Agency are hosting a three-day virtual workshop to provide community members, facilities, tribes, and government employees an opportunity to learn more about what makes for effective engagement in the air permitting process.

The workshop was developed by a planning group of community members, facility representatives, Tribal and city governments, nonprofits, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and U.S. EPA. Each session addresses a different topic that the planning group identified as necessary to engagement work and building understanding with others. Morning (9 – 11 a.m.), mid-day (noon – 1 p.m.), and evening (6 – 8 p.m.) sessions will be offered Monday, September 21 through Wednesday, September 23.

Register now for this FREE and virtual Air Permitting Engagement Workshop!

The workshop includes sessions focused on the needs of multiple audiences, including:

  • Permitting 101 — How permits are issued
  • Environmental Law — An introduction
  • How to Engage — For those engaging with communities
  • Culture Value of Natural Resources —To promote deeper understanding among groups

And so much more! Sign up for any or all the sessions.

Visit the registration page for details on all the sessions and to sign up for this FREE workshop.


Notice: 2020 Fall Street Sweeping will begin soon

street sweeping image

Each spring and fall, Public Works crews sweep every mile of the City’s more than 1,100 miles of streets – curb to curb – to help keep our neighborhoods clean and livable and to protect our waterways. Each spring, crews sweep the nearly 400 miles of alleys as well. Leaves and other debris on the streets can clog storm drains and pollute our lakes and rivers.

Crews from Public Works will be posting the first street signs on Monday, Oct. 19th, sweeping and enforcement will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 20th. Street sweeping usually takes about four weeks to complete. Thanks for your cooperation.

Stay informed – How to avoid being towed

When the Fall 2020 schedule is posted you can view when the plow will come to your street; vehicles parked in violation of signs are subject to a ticket and tow.  

  • “No Parking signs” – City crews will post “No Parking” signs at least 24 hours before sweeping any streets. Parking will be banned from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the day a street is swept. Vehicles not removed will be towed to the Minneapolis Impound Lot.
  • Phone calls to residents – During the spring and fall sweeps, in addition to the “No Parking” signs that will be posted the day before sweepers come through, the City will make about 3,500 automated phone calls each evening to let residents know their street will be swept the next day. Listed, residential telephone numbers will be called.

Informational Street sweeping videos

Street sweeping is explained in English, Hmong, Somali and Spanish as part of the City’s  “Did you know…” series. These videos and others can be viewed at www.YouTube.com/cityofminneapolis and on City cable channel 14.  Residents who have friends or neighbors who speak these languages are encouraged to share links to the videos.

  • English:  See how and why Minneapolis sweeps streets and what you can do to help keep streets and waterways clean in this video from the Minneapolis “Did you know…” series.
  • Spanish: Vea en este video de las series “Sabia Usted” como y porque Minneapolis barre las calles y limpia las vias fluviales.
  • Somali:  Ka daawo fiidyowga taxanaha… ee Minneapolis ee loo yaqaan “Ma Ogtahay” siyaabaha iyo sababaha minneapolis jidadka ay u xaaqido oo ogow sidii aad uga caawin lahayd ilaalinta nadaafada jidadka iyo biyo mareenada.
  • Hmong: Yog xav paub ntxiv, sais nroog Minneapolis cov tshooj xov xwm hu, “Koj pos paub.”

We will be sure to share more updates and information about the Fall 2020 Street Sweeping as it becomes available.


Public comment period for the Neighborhoods 2020 deadline is approaching on Sept. 30

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The public comment period for the Neighborhoods 2020 draft program guidelines on neighborhood programming and funding to support the City’s 70 neighborhood organizations in 2021 and beyond ends Sept. 30, 2020.

The equity and inclusion recommendations outlined in this document form the cornerstone of the City’s commitment to have an equitable neighborhood funding program for all of its residents.

The draft program guidelines follow the vision to preserve Minneapolis’ neighborhood organizations and create equitable communities in which all people are valued, communities are engaged and leadership mirrors the diversity of the city.

Ways to submit comments

  • Email: Neighborhoods2020@minneapolismn.gov
  • Phone: 612-673-3737
  • Text messaging and voicemail: Español: 612-404-2978 Hmoob: 612-367-6548 Soomaaliga: 612-367-6729 English: 612-518-8743
  • Mail: Neighborhood and Community Relations 105 Fifth Ave. S., Suite 425 Minneapolis, MN 55401

Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m., Sept. 30.

Next steps

The final guidelines and public comments will be presented to a City Council committee and then the City Council for a vote.

Neighborhoods 2020 is a plan for continuing to fund neighborhood organizations in Minneapolis when the existing funding source ends and a process to identify expectations for the work they do. These draft program guidelines are centered on building equity in our community. The City Council directed that staff work with a consultant to continue conversations with neighborhoods and the community on program guidelines and metrics for the Neighborhoods 2020 framework while continuing to ensure that racial equity remains at the core of the work.


New research informs immigrant-inclusive COVID-19 relief measures

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Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter highlighted new research for Minneapolis and Saint Paul from New American Economy (NAE) as part of Citizenship Day on Sept. 17.

The results underscore how immigrants are both essential to the Twin Cities’ COVID rapid response efforts and have been made especially vulnerable due to gaps in federal relief packages, language access barriers, and increased risks of infection associated with front-line and essential work.

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are among just 12 communities that received NAE research to inform culturally sensitive emergency response measures that ensure all residents are included, regardless of immigration status. Both cities’ customized research report highlights the demographic nuances of the region’s immigrant population and will inform the advocacy, development, and implementation of inclusive local emergency responses.

Key findings from the Minneapolis report:

  • Immigrants serve in essential industries and carry out vital roles that keep Minneapolis functioning but put them at higher risk of infection. Despite making up just 15.4% of the city’s residents in 2018, immigrants comprised more than 20.2% of all food sector workers and 16.5 percent of all healthcare workers in Minneapolis.
  • The COVID-19 economic upheaval has highlighted the need for stable housing in Minneapolis for all residents regardless of immigration status. Among the city’s immigrant households in 2018, just 25%, or 7,332, owned their own homes and 75%, or 21,980, were renters.
  • Culturally sensitive and language accessible emergency materials are in demand. In 2018, over 29% of immigrants, or 19,053, living in Minneapolis had limited English language proficiency. Among them, the top three languages spoken at home other than English were: Spanish (44.2%) Somali and related (34.3%) and Miao, Hmong (10.1%).
  • Access to healthcare and medical services remains critical for all Minneapolis residents during this pandemic. In 2018, 28,144 Minneapolis residents were without insurance, over 42%of which were immigrants.

Learn more about the key findings.

About New American Economy

New American Economy (NAE) is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization founded to educate, empower and support policymakers, influencers, and citizens across the country that see the economic and social benefits of a smart approach to immigration reform. NAE has created a coalition of civic, business, and cultural leaders who span the political spectrum and represent all 50 states. Visit www.newamericaneconomy.org to learn more.


Public comment period open for zoning code updates to reach Minneapolis 2040 goals until Oct. 19

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The City has launched the 45-day comment period for the public to review draft “built form” regulations that will regulate the scale of new buildings and additions throughout Minneapolis. The regulations are critical to achieving the goals of Minneapolis 2040, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which was approved by the City Council in 2018. The plan will shape how the city will grow and change over the next two decades so all residents can benefit. Under consideration now are technical aspects of Minneapolis 2040 implementation.

Minneapolis 2040 includes 14 Built Form Districts that will guide the development of new regulations, which will govern issues such as: building height, floor area ratio, lot sizes and setbacks from property lines. The new built form regulations will resolve some of the major conflicts between Minneapolis 2040 and the City’s current zoning regulations. They are also intended to make the scale more predictable for new buildings and additions in different areas in the city including neighborhoods, downtown, production and employment areas, and areas served by high-frequency transit.

Minneapolis 2040 went into effect Jan. 1 following more than two years of community engagement. The plan guides growth and change with 14 key goals, including eliminating racial disparities, promoting climate change resiliency, and increasing access to jobs and housing.

How to comment on the draft regulations

The deadline for written comments on the draft built form regulations is Oct. 19. Submit comments online.

Learn about the proposed regulations and ask questions at an online open house hosted by City staff.

The public comment period closes Oct. 19 with a public hearing before the Minneapolis City Planning Commission, which will forward a recommendation to the City Council. The Council is expected to vote on built form regulations in November. Learn more about draft built form regulations and sign up for updates at minneapolis2040.com.


Food, Housing, and Income Support Resources currently available

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Resources for job seekers

Dislocated Worker services are designed to help workers who have been laid off get back to work as quickly as possible. Eligible workers may receive counselor-approved training, placement services and more. Visit Minneapolis Dislocated Worker Resources for more information.

Need help figuring out your next career step? Thinking you might need training to prepare for your next job? Contact staff at a CareerForce location near you for help. Visit Minneapolis Employment and Training for locations and assistance in Minneapolis.

Learn more about federal paid sick leave for COVID-19

In addition to the City’s Sick and Safe Time ordinance, the U.S. Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) ensures that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat COVID-19.

In general, employees of private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees, and certain public sector employers, are entitled to (up to) two weeks (of fully or partially paid) sick leave for COVID-19 related reasons. Additional partially paid leave is available to care for a child, including during school closure or virtual learning. Private employers that have fewer than 500 employees are reimbursed with tax credits for the cost of providing their employees with paid leave.

For more information, call 1-866-4-US-WAGE and check out the following resources: informational videoeligibility toolposter and FAQs.

COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program opens to help with housing expenses

Minnesota’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program has opened to cover housing expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, or other housing-related costs. This program will help keep folks in their homes and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners in communities across the state.

People in Minnesota interested in applying for assistance can call the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline at 651-291-0211, 211unitedway.org or texting “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211. The 211 Helpline has dedicated multilingual staff to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For questions regarding the application process, check the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program frequently asked questions.

Rental assistance available through Hennepin County

Hennepin County offers emergency rental assistance for residents with low incomes who have been financially harmed by COVID-19. Residents can learn more and apply at www.hennepin.us/rent-help and find more information here:

Free meals for all families with children available at school sites

Free meal boxes are now available at 29 school sites. All families are invited to participate in this free program and do not have to have a student in Minneapolis Public Schools. Families can pick up one box per child per week.

Most sites will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with some sites open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit the Minneapolis Public Schools website for more information.


Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19

mask up minneapoli smesage with Napheesa Collier

  • Wear masks when in public. 10-50% of virus carriers are asymptomatic, so they don’t even know they’re sick. Wearing masks helps control the virus and has been shown to lower COVID-19 spread.
  • Avoid enclosed spaces with groups of people, where the virus can linger in the air for long periods of time.
  • Get tested if you have cold or flu-like symptomsFind testing locations.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others who aren’t in your household.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
  • Do not go to “COVID parties” – Young adults face a real risk of significant illness and complications. They can also pass the virus along to family members and other people in the community.

Donate homemade face masks at Minneapolis fire stations for Mask Drive Mondays

Minneapolis residents can deliver homemade masks to their local fire station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday for Mask Drive Mondays. The City’s Health Department continues to get requests from the community for help securing masks and the donations make a big difference in meeting those needs.


Visit us at minneapolismn.gov/ward8

Central • Bryant • Bancroft • Field • Regina • Northrop • Lyndale • Kingfield

Andrea Jenkins, 350 S. Fifth St., City Hall Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

Jeremy Schroeder: Ward 11 Update

Ward 11 Neighbors,

Below you’ll find the latest updates on key issues affecting our community. As always, you are always welcome to get in touch with me directly about issues that matter to you. The best way to reach me is to email jeremy.schroeder@minneapolismn.gov or call 612-673-2211.

If you have immediate questions about City services like garbage pick-up, potholes, parking violations, and more, please call 311 or use these online reporting tools for the most efficient service.


Free COVID-19 Testing and Flu Shots

Minneapolis is once again offering several free COVID-19 testing and flu shot events in coming days. While these events focus on certain communities, all are welcome to participate. Both the test and the flu vaccination are free, and you do not need insurance to participate. Events will be held:

  • Friday, Sept. 11 and Saturday, Sept. 12 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Shiloh Temple (1201 W Broadway Ave). These events are focused on the North Minneapolis community and include both COVID-19 testing and flu shots. If you have insurance, bring your insurance card for the flu shot. If you don’t have insurance, the flu shot is free. Register onsite.
  • Saturday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept. 26 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Abubakar As-Sadique Islamic Center (2824 13th Ave S). These events include COVID-19 testing and are focused on the East African community. Register onsite.

Folks can expect to get their COVID-19 test results in about two days. If you are unable to attend these events, use this state directory to find a testing location near you.


Free Meals for Kids 18 and Younger

Starting today, Sept. 8, free meal boxes are once again available to all Minneapolis families with children ages 18 and younger. Similar to the free food box program Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) operated in the spring and summer, all families are welcome to participate at no cost – children do not need to be enrolled at an MPS school. Families can pick up one box per child per week. Each box contains five breakfasts and five lunches with fresh produce and whole grains. Milk is available upon request.

Meal boxes are available for pickup Monday through Friday at 29 school sites across Minneapolis. Most sites will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and few will have extended hours until 5 p.m. Find the full list of pickup sites and hours here. Questions? Call 612-668-2820 or email info.cws@mpls.k12.mn.us.


FEMA OKs Temporary $300/Week Unemployment Benefit

The State received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide an additional $300 per week to Minnesotans receiving unemployment benefits on a temporary basis, expected to run five to eight weeks. To be eligible for the Lost Wages Assistance program, you must have a weekly unemployment benefit amount of at least $100 and must be unemployed due to COVID-19.

Those currently receiving unemployment benefits do not need to reapply or do anything other than complete their weekly benefits request to receive the additional $300 a week. The State will review all payment requests and automatically pay applicants who are eligible for the lost wages assistance. Find more information here.


COVID-19 Resources for Households

As COVID-19 puts additional strain on families and individuals, there are resources available to help. I will continue to share this list in my newsletters, and encourage you to share it with any family, friends, or neighbors who may be able to benefit from these programs.

State Housing Assistance Program

Minnesota’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program has opened to cover housing expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities or other housing-related costs. This program will help keep folks in their homes and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners in communities across the state.

People in Minnesota interested in applying for assistance can call the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline at 651-291-0211, text “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211, or apply online here. The 211 Helpline has dedicated multilingual staff to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For questions regarding the application process, review COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program frequently asked questions.

Rental Assistance from Hennepin County

Hennepin County continues to offer assistance to residents in need that can be used to cover this month’s rent or past-due rent from previous months. To qualify you must:

  • Rent anywhere in Hennepin County.
  • Have had household income below 50% of the area median income (about $46,550 for a three-person household) before COVID-19.
  • Lost income due to COVID-19 that has not been replaced by unemployment insurance or other emergency assistance.
  • Can’t afford housing costs this month.
  • Not currently receive Section 8 or other rental assistance.

Priority will be given to households with the lowest incomes and those not eligible for unemployment insurance. Learn more and apply for assistance here. If you do not have internet access or cannot complete the form in English call 612-302-3160.

Foreclosure Prevention Resources

The COVID-19 crisis continues to pose significant challenges for many in our community. If you or someone you know is struggling to meet your mortgage obligations, free assistance is available through the Minnesota Homeownership Center. A network of advisors can help you understand how to prevent foreclosure and connect you with resources to help during this challenging time. Learn more and find an advisor here.

Utility Bill Payment Options During COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on household budgets, both of our local utility providers — Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy — have suspended shutoffs for non-payment until further notice. In addition, both companies are working with customers to provide help where possible. Arrange a payment plan by contacting Xcel Energy at 800-895-4999 and/or CenterPoint Energy at 800-245-2377.


Minneapolis 2040 Implementation Update

The City has launched a 45-day public comment on draft provisions that will regulate the scale of new buildings and additions throughout Minneapolis. The regulations are critical to achieving the goals of Minneapolis 2040, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which was approved by the City Council in 2018. The plan will shape the city’s growth over the next two decades so all residents can benefit. Under consideration now are technical aspects of Minneapolis 2040 implementation.

Minneapolis 2040 includes 14 Built Form Districts that will guide the development of new regulations, which relate to issues such as: building height, floor area ratio (FAR), lot sizes, and setbacks from property lines, among others. The new built form regulations will resolve some of the major conflicts between Minneapolis 2040 and the City’s current zoning regulations. They are intended to provide more predictability for the scale of new buildings and additions in different areas in the city, including neighborhoods, downtown, production/employment areas, and areas served by high-frequency transit.

Minneapolis 2040 went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, following over two years of community engagement. The plan supports 14 key goals, including eliminating racial disparities, promoting climate change resiliency, and increasing access to jobs and housing. As required by state law, the City has been working on changing its zoning rules to match the development guidelines that the City Council already approved with Minneapolis 2040. This technical process will take several years and will include updating the zoning classification of every property in the city to match Minneapolis 2040.

All are invited to learn about proposed regulations and ask questions at one of several online open houses hosted by City staff, which will be held:

Get more information on built form guidelines under review now and submit comments here.

The public comment period closes Oct. 19 with a public hearing before the Minneapolis City Planning Commission, which will forward a recommendation to the City Council. The Council is expected to vote on built form regulations in November. Sign up for email updates on Minneapolis 2040 here.


Friendly Reminder to Request Your Mail-in Ballot

The City’s Elections and Voter Services staff will start sending out mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 general election on Sept. 18 — that’s next week! I encourage you to request your mail-in ballot today to make sure you get it with plenty of time to send it back or drop it off in person. The online application is simple, and it only takes a minute or two to fill it out. If you need assistance or a paper application, call 311. The City continues to join public health officials nationwide in recommending voting by mail during the COVID-19 pandemic. By doing so, you can help protect yourself and your neighbors by preventing crowding at polling places. Voting in person will still be an option, however.

Our talented Elections and Voter Services team is exploring options for additional early vote and ballot drop-off sites across Minneapolis. I’ll share updates as I get them on steps the City is taking to ensure every voter is heard – safely and securely – in the upcoming election. In the meantime, find additional information here.


National Night Out Next Week

Due to the pandemic, the recommended date for National Night Out celebrations in Minneapolis was pushed back to next Tuesday, Sept. 15. Find out if your block is signed up or request more information by emailing crime.prevention@minneapolismn.gov. Organizers are encouraged to hold National Night Out events entirely outdoors; promote use of masks; ask households to bring their own food, beverages, utensils, tables, and chairs; and allow enough space for people to keep six feet between themselves and others not in their household.

National Night Out is an annual nationwide event that encourages residents to come together, hold block parties, and get to know their neighbors. Get more information on National Night Out here.


Expanded Bus, Light Rail Service Starts Saturday

Metro Transit is switching up schedules this Saturday, Sept. 12 to give riders with more options and space when traveling on buses and trains. Many local bus routes, along with the A Line and C Line rapid bus routes, will have about as much service as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the Blue Line and Green Line will offer 10-minute service throughout most of the day. Increases in local bus and light rail train service will help riders keep a safe distance on buses and trains as more people return to transit. Learn more about the changes here.

Transit riders are required to wear face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19, and encouraged to use a Go-To Card or purchase fares in advance through the Metro Transit appFind information about Metro Transit’s COVID-19 response here.


Free Online Tutoring Available Through Library

School is back in session, though it looks very different this year. Still, Hennepin County Library continues to provide free homework help resources – including online tutors – for all ages. Online tutors are available every day from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. and can provide help in English or Spanish. Get information on tutoring and other homework help resources here. Folks can access these resources using their Hennepin County Library card (if you don’t have one, see how to apply for one or get a temporary e-card here).


Fall Community Ed Registration Open Now

There are hundreds of Minneapolis Community Education adult enrichment classes open for enrollment now, including many that are offered exclusively online. Courses range a wide variety of subject areas, from cooking and exercise to languages and home and garden. In addition, there are options specifically for folks age 55 and older and for adults with disabilities. These classes provide an accessible, affordable opportunity for folks to hone new skills and build community. Find the full list of offerings and register here.


Join the Stop Food Waste Challenge

Did you know 40% of food ends up wasted? To empower your household to help combat this problem, Hennepin County is launching a Stop Food Waste Challenge where participants can learn about food waste, commit to take action, and provide support and resources along the way. The challenge runs from next Monday, Sept. 14, through Oct. 11. By signing up here, you can see action steps in a variety of categories – including shopping, cooking, storage, and more – that will help reduce your food waste footprint. During the challenge, you can report which actions you take, see their impact, and connect with others. Learn more here.


Adopt a Drain to Protect Waterways This Fall

It’s hard to believe, but this week brought our first taste of fall weather. Soon the leaves the drop, which makes now a great time to consider adopting your local storm drain to help keep our lakes, river, and creek free of contaminants and pollution. Anything that flows down a storm drain ends up in our precious waterways, diminishing water quality and harming aquatic life. Do your part to help by committing to regularly check on storm drains near you, and when necessary clear them of leaves or other debris. It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to clean drains, but it makes a huge difference. The drain adoption process is simple, and you can adopt or un-adopt drains instantly. Get started here.

Hiawatha Golf Course draft design public comment period ends September 15

One week left to comment on draft design of Hiawatha Golf Course Property Master Plan!

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Hiawatha Golf Course Property Master Plan 

One week left to comment on draft design of Hiawatha Golf Course Property Master Plan!

Check out draft master plan for the Hiawatha Golf Course Area and tell us what you think by September 15, 2020!

There’s one week left to comment on the draft Hiawatha Golf Course Area Master Plan! The public comment period will close Sept. 15, 2020.

The master plan document is available in hard copy format at the Hiawatha Golf Course clubhouse or digitally on the project page and linked below. Comments will be accepted primarily online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Community members can share their thoughts through an online survey or by emailing Project Manager Tyler Pederson at tpederson@minneapolisparks.org.

Draft Master Plan

The Draft Hiawatha Golf Course Area Master Plan is a written and graphic document intended to guide capital improvements in the area over the next 20-30 years. The master plan document is a direct reflection of the input provided by the appointed Community Advisory Committee (CAC), which met 7 times between March 2018 and July 2019, and extensive additional community engagement. View the plan using the links below:

Executive Summary

Draft Master Plan

Comment via Online Survey

If you require printed materials, they can be mailed or delivered in a COVID-safe manner. Contact Project Manager Tyler Pederson at tpederson@minneapolisparks.org to make arrangements.


Plan Highlights

The plan pushes toward a balance of golf and other activities set in a landscape guided by water management. It necessarily bends toward ecology in its aspirations, recognizing that restoration of natural processes—which were significantly altered by Wirth’s dredging of Rice Lake—are a goal greater than those supporting human activities on the site. With ecology as the yardstick, choices are made that err on preservation, conservation, and restoration rather than expanded disturbance and new development. While many uses are described, its restoration of sustainable water patterns and recreation balanced in a new ecologically-driven landscape that forms the higher order goals inherent in the plan.

With the vision and guiding principles, the CAC’s prioritized design element recommendation, focus-session input, community survey input, and input from our collaborating partners, the recommended Hiawatha Golf Course Area Master Plan includes:

  • Relocating an improved and reduced pumping strategy at the site to protect nearby low basements from groundwater intrusion to the same degree they are protected today.
  • Re-utilizing pumped water for a variety of potential uses (e.g. irrigation, snow making, facility heating/cooling).
  • Improving water management at the site while providing opportunities to address flooding in the watershed to the north.
  • Improving water quality in Lake Hiawatha and Minnehaha Creek.
  • Creating a destination golf facility focused on learning the sport and increasing opportunities for new players, including a 9-hole golf course, driving range, and practice facilities.
  • Celebrating the history of Black golfers at the course and supporting and providing an introduction to golf for people of color.
  • Expanding access to the site with bicycle and pedestrian trails, a re-envisioned clubhouse area that welcomes the larger community, and other new community gathering spaces.
  • Restoring ecological function through the creation of wetlands, riparian and shoreline restorations, upland prairie restoration, and protecting existing wildlife habitat.
  • Creating a south Minneapolis winter recreation destination complementary to north Minneapolis’s Theodore Wirth Regional Park.
  • Developing nine experiences that tell the cultural and natural history through permanent elements and infrastructure, as well as through art, performance, community events, and ephemeral experiences. Experiences include:
    • Stormwater Terrace
    • Pumping as a Resource
    • All are Welcome
    • A Place to Learn
    • Island Respite
    • Telling our Story
    • A Connection to Water
    • Urban Nature
    • Celebrating Minnehaha Creek

Master Plan Schedule

Graphic showing timeline of Hiawatha Golf Course Property Master Plan

Summer 2020

  1. Draft Master Plan published for 45-day public comment period on July 31
  2. Draft Master Plan presented to Board of Commissioners (informal presentation, no vote)
  3. Public comments tabulated
  4. Master Plan finalized based on public comments

Fall 2020

  1. Public Hearing and consideration in MPRB Planning Committee
  2. Master Plan passed out of Planning Committee considered by full Board of Commissioners
  3. Master Plan approved by Board of Commissioners sent to the Met Council for review and approval
  4. Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park Master Plan is amended with Hiawatha Golf Course Property Master Plan

Additional Information

Last winter the MPRB published project updates about the following topics:

  1. CAC Priorities (posted Dec. 13, 2019)
  2. Groundwater Pumping (posted Dec. 20, 2019)
  3. Golf Course Layout (posted Feb. 14, 2020)
  4. Detailed Master Plan Process and Schedule (posted March 13, 2020)

Button Visit Project Page

To learn more about this project and others, visit www.minneapolisparks.org/planning.

About this project

The Hiawatha Golf Course Property Master Plan will guide water management strategies and future use of the golf course property in Nokomis-Hiawatha Regional Park.

Project Manager

Tyler Pederson

612-230-6418

tpederson@minneapolisparks.org

Park Information

612-230-6472

info@minneapolisparks.org

MN Relay System: 711

Ward 8 Update from Andrea Jenkins

 Message from Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins

Happy Labor Day,

I hope that folks are healthy and well in these challenging and uncertain times. It seems that every day we hear more disturbing stories about unarmed Black men and women being killed by sworn officers of the state. These tragic events are deeply traumatizing and continues to stoke the unrest that we see in our City and cities throughout the country. Earlier this week there were a rash of robberies, car thefts and muggings near and around the area of 48th and Chicago, and throughout the 8th Ward. These criminal behaviors are abhorrent and will not be tolerated. The police were able to arrest 3 of the perpetrators and are actively investigating the rest. I have been in communication with the Inspectors from the 3rd and 5th Precincts and they are adjusting their strategies to address these rising concerns.

The intersection at 38th and Chicago continues to be a fluid and challenging situation. The city leaders continue to be in dialogue with community representatives. We have created a website for folks to keep up with the latest development and to provide feedback. http://www2.minneapolismn.gov/minneapolisforward/38thandChicago.

What we do know is that justice is an issue here and I am committed to helping the community realize justice while at the same time working towards re-opening access at this intersection. I recognize for many this is taking longer than people anticipated, but we must recognize that the issues of injustice, white supremacy, redlining and criminalization didn’t happen overnight, they developed over years, decades and centuries, and so consequently the solutions will take time to overcome them.

Lastly, in addition to the coronavirus pandemic and the global uprisings, we have a significant and persistent housing crisis. The city is committed to working with Hennepin County, The State of Minnesota and philanthropy and corporate partners to address this pernicious issue. Next week, I will be joining Hennepin County Commissioner Greene at MLK Park to talk with the inhabitants there as well as neighbors from the surrounding area. Once that date and time is set, we will communicate it broadly to residents of the Kingfield Neighborhood to join us.

Stay safe everyone, please limit your holiday celebrations to outdoor, socially distance and masked up activities. We must slow the spread of this disease.

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Articles Featured in this E-newsletter


Minneapolis City offices closed Labor Day

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Minneapolis City government offices will be closed Monday, Sept. 7, in observance of Labor Day.

There will be no City of Minneapolis garbage and recycling pickup Sept. 7. Households’ garbage and recycling pickups scheduled for Sept. 7 through Sept. 11 will occur one day later (Tuesday, Sept. 8, through Saturday, Sept. 12) than their normal schedules. In addition, Minneapolis 311 services and the Public Works Transfer Station will be closed.

The City’s parking meters will not be enforced during the holiday, but all other parking restrictions in the city remain in effect and are subject to enforcement, including Park Board meters along Minneapolis parkways, University of Minnesota parking meters and those of private organizations who operate their own meters. Always read the information posted on the meter to be certain.

The office closures do not affect 911, Minneapolis police and fire emergency services. City offices will resume regular business hours Tuesday, Sept. 8.


Seventh annual Minneapolis Trans Equity Summit goes virtual; Register for free online sessions Sept. 13-15

Trans Equity Summit Flyer

When: Sunday, Sept 13 – Tuesday, Sept 15, 2020

What: 7th Annual (Virtual) Minneapolis Trans Equity Summit – Claiming Our Power for Change: Caring for Community

In this moment of deep pain and radical possibility, Minneapolis has been centered – globally – as a place from which potential new futures can be born. Organizers, healers and artists are redefining community, connection, and the expansiveness of their own power. As always, trans and gender non-conforming folks are leading, and it is with this knowledge that we offer this year’s Summit. The 7th annual Trans Equity Summit will hold space for community care, for collective witnessing, and for trans/GNC folks to find or further assert their place and power in this moment.

The Summit is free and open to the public, and we encourage anyone interested in furthering trans equity to attend. This is an event for trans/GNC community members to connect to resources and each other, and for potential allies to learn more about issues impacting trans/GNC community and how to integrate community visions through an equity lens.

Programming 2 – 4 p.m. and 7 – 9 p.m. daily, via Microsoft Teams and Slack. Programming will include a keynote by CeCe McDonald, breakout sessions, performances, a job and resource fair, and healing justice offerings.

Please register here: 7thtransequitysummit.eventbrite.com

For ASL interpretation and all other reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please note your needs in the registration form below or contact Track Trachtenberg at track.trachtenberg@minneapolismn.gov or 612-394-0714. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626. Para asistencia 612-673-2700 – Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 – Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.


Minneapolis City Council welcomes Ward 6 Council Member Jamal Osman

Ward 6 Council Member

The City welcomes new Ward 6 Council Member Jamal Osman. As a refugee and from time spent in public housing after arriving in Minnesota, Osman learned empathy and the importance of community. He became a longtime advocate for change and social justice.

Focused on housing and mental health, he has worked with Common Bond Communities, in the Social Services department and served on the board of Phillips Community Clinic. Through Resident Services, he worked to ensure those living in affordable and public housing have access to a full range of services to feel supported and safe. Osman is a certified mental health trainer who regularly trains youths and adults to recognize and destigmatize mental health issues in the community.

Osman and his wife, Ilo, live in Cedar Riverside with their five children.


FEMA approves temporary $300/week benefits with unemployment to be administered by the State

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The State of Minnesota has received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide a temporary additional $300 per week to Minnesotans receiving unemployment benefits. To be eligible for the Lost Wages Assistance program, an applicant must have a weekly unemployment benefit amount of at least $100 and must be unemployed due to COVID-19.

Those currently receiving unemployment benefits do not need to reapply or do anything other than complete their weekly benefits request to receive the additional $300 a week. State of Minnesota Unemployment Insurance will review all payment requests and automatically pay applicants who are eligible for the lost wages assistance.

The State anticipates the program will last between five to eight weeks. Applicants can visit https://www.uimn.org/lwa for more information.


Free COVID-19 testing events and flu shots coming up

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The City of Minneapolis is offering free COVID-19 tests and flu shots in Minneapolis communities. All are welcome.

Free COVID-19 tests and flu shots focused on the north Minneapolis community Noon-4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, and Saturday, Sept. 12 Shiloh Temple, 1201 W. Broadway Ave. N. Register onsite. The flu shots are covered by insurance. If you have insurance, bring your insurance card for the flu shot. If you don’t have insurance, the flu shot is free.

Free COVID-19 tests focused on the East African community Noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, and Saturday, Sept. 26 Abubakar As-Sadique Islamic Center, 2824 13th Ave. S. Register onsite.

You can expect to get your test results in about two days.

Resources

The COVID-19 test is free, and you do not need insurance for the test. If you need medical care but don’t have health insurance, the Minnesota Department of Health offers resources to find low-cost health care or health insurance.

Testing for other communities

Free COVID-19 tests focused on the Cedar-Riverside community hosted by Pillsbury United 1-4 p.m. Fridays starting Sept. 11 Brian Coyle Center, 420 15th Ave. S. Note: Double-check with Pillsbury United for possible updates before heading over.

If you are unable to attend one of these testing events, you can use this directory to find a testing location near you.


Informational Wage Theft Video now available in spanish

Wage theft video grab

You can watch and share the full video here.

The City has adopted part of the state’s new Wage Theft law into local ordinance, providing another avenue to employees for recovery of unpaid wages. The ordinance took effect on January 1st, 2020.

The City’s wage theft prevention ordinance additionally requires employers in Minneapolis to provide sick and safe time accrual and use balances on all earnings statements, and distribute a Minneapolis labor poster to all new hires.

If you experience any potential or suspected instances of wage theft or wage/hour/payroll issues you can contact the City’s Civil Rights department – Labor Standard Enforcement Division for assistance via text at (612) 673-3012. Questions or consultations are also accepted. Staff will follow-up within 24 to 48 hours by text or phone call (if preferred).

The Minnesota Wage Theft Law and the Minneapolis Wage Theft Ordinance together protect employers and employees. Follow news coverage here or share this employer video  (en español) or employee video on social media to spread awareness today.


You can apply now to get your ballot for the Nov. 3 General Election

your city your vote

Want to make sure your ballot will be returned on time to count for the general election on Nov. 3?

Apply now and get your ballot right when early voting opens. Ballots will be mailed out starting Sept. 18. This will ensure plenty of time to receive your ballot, vote and then return your ballot using the postage-paid envelope.

Apply on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.

Learn more about how the City is working to ensure a safe election season during the pandemic.


City begins a 45-day public review period for upcoming zoning changes related to Minneapolis 2040

Minneapolis 2040 Mailing

The City has launched the 45-day comment period for the public to review draft built form regulations that will regulate the scale of new buildings and additions throughout Minneapolis. The regulations are critical to achieving the goals of Minneapolis 2040, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which was approved by the City Council in 2018. The plan will shape how the city will grow and change over the next two decades so all residents can benefit. Under consideration now are technical aspects of Minneapolis 2040 implementation.

Minneapolis 2040 includes 14 Built Form Districts that will guide the development of new regulations, which will govern issues such as: building height, floor area ratio (FAR), lot sizes and setbacks from property lines, among other things. The new built form regulations will resolve some of the major conflicts between Minneapolis 2040 and the City’s current zoning regulations. They are also intended to provide more predictability for the scale of new buildings and additions in different areas in the city, including neighborhoods, downtown, production/employment areas and areas served by high-frequency transit.

Minneapolis 2040 went into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, following over two years of community engagement. The plan guides growth and change with 14 key goals, including eliminating racial disparities, promoting climate change resiliency, and increasing access to jobs and housing.

As required by state law, the City has been working on changing its zoning rules to match the development guidelines that the City Council already approved with Minneapolis 2040. This technical process will take several years and will include updating the zoning classification of every property in the city to match Minneapolis 2040. The first set of zoning changes will focus on technical aspects of the built form standards, proposed for adoption later this year.

How to comment on the draft regulations

The deadline for written comments on the draft built form regulations is Oct. 19. Submit comments online.

Learn about the proposed regulations and ask questions at an online open house hosted by City staff.

The public comment period closes Oct. 19 with a public hearing before the Minneapolis City Planning Commission, which will forward a recommendation to the City Council. The Council is expected to vote on built form regulations in November. Learn more about draft built form regulations and sign up for updates at minneapolis2040.com.


Census deadline approaching fast – make sure you and your household get counted!

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There are less than 30 days left to get counted in the 2020 Census. Have you completed the census yet?

The data that is obtained by the census allows the federal government to determine where to allocate resources for things like schools, parks, roads and much more. Our communities deserve the proper funding for resources that we rely on including programs and services like SNAP, Medicaid, CHIP and Head Start.

Unfortunately, there are still neighborhoods in our city that are currently undercounted. An undercount in any of our communities could have devastating and long-lasting impacts for our future. Because the census comes only once every 10 years, it’s important that we all get counted now.

Don’t wait. Complete the census for you and for everyone in your household including all children and all relatives that live with you. Our voices matter, our communities matter and we count. Visit My2020census.gov or call 1-844-330-2020 and get counted before the Sept. 30 deadline.


MN Housing’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program opens to help with housing expenses

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Minnesota’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program has opened to cover housing expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, or other housing-related costs. This program will help keep folks in their homes and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners in communities across the state.

People in Minnesota interested in applying for assistance can call the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline at 651-291-0211, 211unitedway.org or texting “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211. The 211 Helpline has dedicated multilingual staff to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For questions regarding the application process, check the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program frequently asked questions.


Translated surveys now available for input on Non-Emergency Crime and Mental Health Crisis Calls to 911; Surveys close Sept. 8

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The primary purpose of the surveys is to gain insight from individuals who have experience calling 911 for either a mental health crisis or non-emergency crime calls. With Minneapolis being a diverse city, it is important to provide opportunities for all residents voices to be heard, and this is why we have translated the surveys into three other languages: Somali, Spanish, and Hmong. Please share with friends, family, neighbors, or colleague who may find these translated surveys more accessible. The surveys will be closing on Wednesday, Sept. 8th.

Mental Health Crisis Calls

We are redesigning the way mental health 911 calls are handled. We want to hear from residents about your experiences & uplift your voices to make real change in our communities. Please share your thoughts by completing a 10 min survey.

Spanish: Estamos rediseñando la manera en que las llamadas de salud mental son atendidas.  Queremos escuchar acerca de las experiencias de los residentes y hacer que sus voces sean parte de un cambio real en nuestras comunidades.  Por favor comparte tus ideas completando una encuesta de 10 minutos https://tinyurl.com/y3wll3s4

Somali: Waxaan dib-u-habayn ku wadnaa sidii wax looga bedelilahaa marka 911ka loo soo woco xaalad la xiriirta xanuunka dhimirka. Waxaan jecelahay inaan maqalo waxa fikirkaagu yahay iyo dhamaan bulshada codkeeda si isbedel dhab loo helo. Fadlan nagu caawi inaad firkadaada helo adigoo buuxinaya war qaadkan https://tinyurl.com/y3r5r5ve

Hmong: Peb tabtom txhimkho txoj kev pabcuam cov neeg hu 911 thov kev pab lawm txoj kev nyuaj siab ntxhov ntsws. Peb xav hnov pejxeem cov tswvyim thiab pab txhawb koj lub suab los mus txhimkho peb lub zejzog.  Thov siv 10 vib nati qhia koj lub tswvyim rau hauv daim ntawv nug https://tinyurl.com/yyo3regr

Non-Emergency Crime Calls

Have you had items stolen, property damaged, or a traffic issue? We are redesigning the way 911 calls about non-emergency crimes are handled. Please share your thoughts by completing a 5 min survey.

Spanish: ¿Te han robado, tu propiedad ha sido dañada o has tenido problemas de tráfico? Estamos rediseñando la manera en que las llamadas que no son de emergencia son atendidas. Por favor comparte tus ideas completando una encuesta de 5 minutos https://tinyurl.com/yypz4fzv

Somali: Wax ma lagaa xaday, makusoo gaadhay waxyeello hanti, ama dhib xagga gaadiidka ah? Dib-u-habayn ayaan ku wadnaa sida looga jawaabo telefoonada 911-ka ee aan ahayn dembiyada culus. Fadlan nala qaybso fikradaada adoo buuxinaya war qaadkan 5 daqiiqadood https://tinyurl.com/y667f6hn

Hmong: Koj cov khoom vaj khoom tsev puas raug nyiag, koj lub vaj lub tsev puas raug tsoo, los yog koj puas muaj kev tsis txau siab rau kev khiav tseg?  Peb tabtom txhimkho txoj kev pabcuam cov neeg hus 911 hais txog cov  teebmeem tsis muaj kev kubntxov phomsij lub sijhawm tabsim ntawv.  Thov siv 5 vib nati qhia koj lub tswvyim rau hauv daim ntawv nug https://tinyurl.com/y6fyqdd6


Learn about the Whittier/Lyndale Bikeway by watching the Aug. 27th Virtual Project Open House

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On August 27, 2020, Public Works held a virtual Open House to share information about the Whittier/Lyndale bikeway project which includes portions of 1st Avenue S, 28th Street, and Blaisdell Avenue S. Staff presented on the draft project layout and held a question and answer section from attendees. You can view the presentation here.

In 2021, the Minneapolis Public Works Department will enhance the bike connections between several neighborhoods in South Minneapolis and downtown. The project will improve existing bikeways on portions of 1st Avenue South, Blaisdell Avenue South, and 28th Street. Proposed enhancements include a two-way bikeway with curb and bollard protection and crossing improvements for pedestrians.

In early 2020, Public Works presented the project and received comments at neighborhood associations along the project corridor. These conversations, and comments received from an online survey, are summarized here:

Initial Outreach Summary

Goals

The goal of the project is to create a low-stress bikeway that meets the City’s All Ages and Abilities standard. Such a bikeway will:

  • Enhance comfort and predictability of all users
  • Support existing and future bicycle demand
  • Improve bicycle network connectivity

The project will also look for opportunities to improve pedestrian safety along the corridors.

Existing conditions

Public Works has collected detailed information on existing pedestrian, bicycle and vehicles uses along the project corridor. See this information in the document below.

Whittier/Lyndale Bikeway Existing Conditions

Contact

Mike Samuelson, Transportation Planner, 612-709-3130 or mike.samuelson@minneapolismn.gov

Nathan Kemmer, Project Engineer, 612-673-3274 or nathan.kemmer@minneapolismn.gov


Give your input on the proposed Phelps Basketball Court Mural in person or online!

Project Backboard, Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Ryan Saunders, and Streeter Custom Builder are teaming together to propose working with a local artist to transform the current outdoor basketball court at Phelps Field Park (39th & Chicago Ave So) into a large-scale art piece honoring this community’s rich heritage and vibrancy. We are partnering with Southside Boys & Girls Club and hope to complete it by summer of next year (2021).

We’d like to know what you think. Please share your thoughts by either stopping by the Phelps Basketball Court Project Booth at the last ReImagine 38th St. event hosted by the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) this Saturday, Sept. 5th from 11 am to 5 pm. You can also weigh in online using this survey: www.bit.ly/PhelpsMural2020.

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September is National Preparedness Month; resources available to help plan for unexpected emergencies

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National Preparedness Month is recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. This year’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) theme is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”

The City of Minneapolis encourages residents to set aside some time this month to use FEMA’s weekly themes and learn about ways to prepare for weather emergencies and other disasters that could occur at home and work and in their communities. Families preparing before an emergency with a focus on children’s understanding can help save lives and increase the community’s resilience.

FEMA’s weekly focuses in National Preparedness Month 2020: Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today

Week 1 Sept. 1-5: Make a plan

Week 2 Sept. 6-12: Build a kit

Week 3 Sept. 13-19: Prepare for disasters

Week 4 Sept. 20-26: Teach young people about preparedness

Find information on these weekly themes and more at Ready.gov/september.

Video

Watch and share FEMA’s preparedness videos.

App

Residents can prepare for a disaster today by downloading the FEMA app for real-time alerts from the National Weather Service, ways to share notifications with loved ones, emergency shelter information and more.

Find more information about emergency preparedness from the Minneapolis Office of Emergency Management.


Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19

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  • Wear masks when in public. 10-50% of virus carriers are asymptomatic, so they don’t even know they’re sick. Wearing masks helps control the virus and has been shown to lower COVID-19 spread.
  • Avoid enclosed spaces with groups of people, where the virus can linger in the air for long periods of time.
  • Get tested if you have cold or flu-like symptomsFind testing locations.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others who aren’t in your household.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
  • Do not go to “COVID parties” – Young adults face a real risk of significant illness and complications. They can also pass the virus along to family members and other people in the community.

Donate homemade face masks at Minneapolis fire stations for Mask Drive Mondays

Minneapolis residents can deliver homemade masks to their local fire station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday for Mask Drive Mondays. The City’s Health Department continues to get requests from the community for help securing masks and the donations make a big difference in meeting those needs.


Visit us at minneapolismn.gov/ward8

Central • Bryant • Bancroft • Field • Regina • Northrop • Lyndale • Kingfield

Andrea Jenkins, 350 S. Fifth St., City Hall Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500

Jeremy Schroeder: Ward 11 Update

Ward 11 Neighbors,

Below you’ll find the latest updates on key issues like COVID-19, public safety, and more. As always, you are always welcome to get in touch with me directly about issues that matter to you. The best way to reach me is to email jeremy.schroeder@minneapolismn.gov or call 612-673-2211.

If you have immediate questions about City services like garbage pick-up, potholes, parking violations, and more, please call 311 or use these online reporting tools for the most efficient service.


Public Safety Updates

More unrest in our city last week again revealed the trauma and distrust tied to our current public safety system. This underscores the need for us to build a public safety system that works for everyone and keeps us all safe – no matter where in Minneapolis we are, and no matter who we are.

I continue to hear from Ward 11 neighbors about their crime and safety concerns, and as always, I routinely share them with MPD leadership. It is important we get a clear understanding of how our tax dollars are being used to address immediate public safety issues and bigger-picture needs, like stronger partnership between the MPD and the Office of Violence Prevention. At last week’s City Council meeting I again asked for details on how the MPD is meeting the needs of residents and business owners in our community. MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo gave some examples in a presentation last month, but I am still waiting on specific answers.  I will request these details on your behalf until I get them. You can watch the most recent City Council meeting here.

Recognizing the need for ongoing attention to this issue, a City Council study session on public safety is being organized now. A study session is a City Council meeting focused on one particular topic, where Council members have the opportunity to get in-depth information and ask questions. At this forthcoming study session, likely to be held this month, my colleagues and I will hear from MPD leadership. I will share information about how you can tune in when meeting details are finalized.


New City Council Structure Includes 5 Committees

The City Council continues to update its committees and schedule to respond to changing needs during the local public health emergency. Beginning the week of Sept. 7, the two-week City Council cycles will consist of five standing committee meetings and the regular meeting of the full City Council.

I will serve as Vice Chair of the Business, Inspections, Housing & Zoning Committee and will sit on the Audit Committee, Budget Committee, and Policy & Government Oversight Committee. Other standing committees include the Public Health & Public Safety Committee and the Transportation & Public Works Committee.

The full City Council will continue to meet at 9:30 a.m. every other Friday. We have had to be nimble to ensure we can get the City’s business done during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has placed significant constraints on our ability to meet in person, operate as normal across City departments, and more. You can find dates, times, and agendas of upcoming meetings here.


COVID-19 Resources for Households

It is the first of the month, which means bills come due for households across our community. As COVID-19 puts additional strain on families and individuals, there are resources available to help.

State Housing Assistance Program

Minnesota’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program has opened to cover housing expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities or other housing-related costs. This program will help keep folks in their homes and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners in communities across the state.

People in Minnesota interested in applying for assistance can call the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline at 651-291-0211, text “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211, or apply online here. The 211 Helpline has dedicated multilingual staff to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For questions regarding the application process, review COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program frequently asked questions.

Rental Assistance from Hennepin County

Hennepin County continues to offer assistance to residents in need that can be used to cover this month’s rent or past-due rent from previous months. To qualify you must:

  • Rent anywhere in Hennepin County.
  • Have had household income below 50% of the area median income (about $46,550 for a three-person household) before COVID-19.
  • Lost income due to COVID-19 that has not been replaced by unemployment insurance or other emergency assistance.
  • Can’t afford housing costs this month.
  • Not currently receive Section 8 or other rental assistance.

Priority will be given to households with the lowest incomes and those not eligible for unemployment insurance. Learn more and apply for assistance here. If you do not have internet access or cannot complete the form in English call 612-302-3160.

Foreclosure Prevention Resources

The COVID-19 crisis continues to pose significant challenges for many in our community. If you or someone you know is struggling to meet your mortgage obligations, free assistance is available through the Minnesota Homeownership Center. A network of advisors can help you understand how to prevent foreclosure and connect you with resources to help during this challenging time. Learn more and find an advisor here.

Utility Bill Payment Options During COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on household budgets, both of our local utility providers — Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy — have suspended shutoffs for non-payment until further notice. In addition, both companies are working with customers to provide help where possible. Arrange a payment plan by contacting Xcel Energy at 800-895-4999 and/or CenterPoint Energy at 800-245-2377.


City Recovery Efforts Supporting Local Businesses

As these unprecedented times test our resilience, staff across the City are working on strategic resources to begin the long path toward recovery. Since the start of the pandemic, the City’s economic development team has helped our business community start to recover through expertise, funding and adapting processes.

Overall, the City’s economic development team has connected with more than 2,000 businesses, provided more than 3,000 hours of direct customer assistance directly or through service contracts, changed licensing and regulatory processes to save businesses $1.4 million, and helped business access more than $3 billion in funding since the start of the pandemic. Some highlights of our work:

Lending Expertise

  • The Small Business Team has fielded 650 calls since the beginning of April to connect businesses to resources. The team has reached out to cultural malls and damaged commercial areas and done research as part of establishing the Small Business Administration’s disaster declaration.
  • Increased resources to community-based partners and modified program guidelines provided technical assistance supporting 645 businesses. The service helped navigate employee issues, triage outstanding expenses, negotiate payments with creditors and apply for relief funds.
  • Our partners helped food establishments adapt their business models with online ordering and delivery, online sale of gift certificates, etc.
  • The City committed a total of $500,000 to 10 community-based business organizations in pandemic specific funding.

Distributing Funds

  • Made 173 loans totaling $1.55 million to businesses in targeted areas to increase equitable results. Around 70% of loan recipients identified as non-white with borrowers identifying as Black/African American as the largest overall recipient group at 42% of total loans.
  • The program provided $5,000 or $10,000 loans of flexible funding to meet immediate working capital needs such as payroll and employee benefits, rent or mortgage payments, accounts payable and payments due to supply chain.
  • Besides direct funds, our business teams helped businesses access funding from County, State and federal resources for a total (including the City funds) of almost 14,000 businesses receiving more than $3 billion.
  • The City business assistance teams relaxed permit fees and fee collections, saving businesses a collective $1.4 million.

Improving Processes

  • The City streamlined reopening for 112 businesses expanding outdoors and reopening in early June by creating a guide; modifying processes and ordinances; and coordinating with the State of Minnesota, Metropolitan Council and Metro Transit.
  • City staff rooted the opening plan in racial equity and identified those impacted most by having roundtables with restaurants, labor leaders and community-based groups; and completing a racial equity impact assessment to flag barriers to the business owners and needs of the workers.

Census Deadline Approaching Fast – Get Counted!

Have you completed the census yet? The deadline to get counted in the 2020 census is Sept. 30, and hundreds of Ward 11 households have still not been counted. This affects our community’s ability to get the federal funding we need to support essential programs and services. The 2020 Census is our chance to shape the future of Minneapolis for the next 10 years. In 2010, the City of Minneapolis had a census response rate of 72.8%.

Census takers have begun following up in Minneapolis with households that haven’t yet completed the 2020 Census. Census staff have been hired locally and are here to help households complete their census forms. The goal of census door knockers is to help get an accurate count. Census staffers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge that includes their photograph and a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark.

Census field staff follow both CDC and local public health guidelines, are trained in physical distancing protocols, and will provide census takers with masks during their visit. Census staff have sworn a lifetime oath of confidentiality. Any information that you provide to them will not be shared with any entity other than the Census Bureau for statistical purposes only and never to identify an individual. Find more information here on verifying a census taker’s identity, COVID-19 protocols or the strategy to visit households that haven’t responded yet.


Do You Have a Plan to Vote?

In less than three weeks, on Sept. 18, the City’s Elections & Voter Services staff will begin sending mail-in ballots to voters for the Nov. 3 general election! Request your mail-in ballot today to ensure you receive it with plenty of time to send it back or drop it off in person at the City’s Early Vote Center before Election Day. More than 7,000 Ward 11 residents voted by mail in last month’s primary election, doing their part to help limit crowding at polling places during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Voting by mail will continue to be an option in the general election, along with voting in person, and I look forward to sharing more information in the coming weeks and months about the work our Elections staff is doing to ensure every Minneapolis voter can be heard safely and securely in this very important election.

Serve as an Election Judge

Election judges – or poll workers – to work in every election. These folks make sure every eligible ballot can be cast and counted, and are paid $17.15 per hour for full-day or half-day shifts. The City has received a large number of applications so far, but still has some gaps to fill. The greatest needs at this time are folks who are affiliated with the Republican, Grassroots Legalize Cannabis, and Legal Marijuana Now parties (because the state requires judges at each polling place to represent different political parties) and people who are fluent in Hmong, Amharic, Oromo, and Somali. If you’re interested – and especially if you meet any of those criteria – find more information and apply here.


Make Your Yard More Resilient to Climate Change

We are in a climate emergency, and unseasonable warmth and flooding rains are the new normal in Minnesota. By making your yard more resilient, you can meet these challenges head-on and protect pollinators and our local ecosystem. In partnership with the City, Metro Blooms is hosting another round of online workshops to help you learn how to take climate action in your literal backyard and reduce lawn maintenance in the process.

The Resilient Yards workshop builds an understanding of resilience and how to support it in your yard with site planning, intentional plantings, pollinator habitat, and more. This workshop includes one-on-one design assistance from landscape designers and master gardeners. The Turf Alternatives workshop focuses on converting traditional laws to turf alternatives that require less watering and chemicals, and better support pollinators and water quality.

Find more details and registration information here.


Sign Up for the Zero Waste Challenge

Hennepin County is looking for 50 households to participate in its Zero Waste Challenge. Over eight months, participants receive personalized coaching and support to assess waste generated within the home and develop a customized waste-reduction plan, as well as help making low-waste lifestyle changes. In addition, participants attend a series of virtual workshops on topics like low-waste shopping preventing food waste, and backyard composting. The challenge runs from mid-September to mid-May 2021, and applications are due by Sept. 7. Apply here.


Wash your hands and cover your face!

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

A Message from Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins

A Message from Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins

Today marks the 57th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his now famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Thousands of African Americans and others are gathered in Washington D.C. right now, bringing attention and awareness to the deeply entrenched oppression that continues to plague the Black community. Today we cannot just pay honor to this moment, we must actively work to help America “live out the true meaning of its creed.”

There is so much happening in our community these days. Once again, civil unrest erupted on our streets, downtown and throughout neighborhoods. The pain, frustration, and trauma in the Black community and other communities of color is very real. The disruptions were not just limited to downtown. We had vandalism at the Walgreens on 43rd and Chicago Avenue, and there was another tragic loss of life at 35th and Chicago. These are truly difficult days.

To make matters even more difficult, we are still in the middle of a global pandemic. To date, 299 Minneapolitans have lost their lives to Covid-19. My heart and prayers go out to their families and friends. We continue to work towards a peaceful resolution that will bring forth justice and more access and safety to the area surrounding 38th and Chicago. I am committed to creating a permanent memorial, to renaming the intersection, but more importantly, to bring greater economic development opportunities that enrich the community, to support the development of a cultural art and healing space, and increase opportunities for young people to engage in training, arts activities, trades and employment. In addition, we are developing a community engagement process to create the re-imagined public safety continuum that we all want and need to keep Minneapolis safe.

The moment for community change is now, will you be a part of making that happen?

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Articles Featured in this E-newsletter


City Council resumes expanded structure with five modified committees

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The City Council continues to update its committees and schedule to respond to changing needs during the local public health emergency. Beginning the week of Sept. 7, the two-week City Council cycles will consist of five standing committee meetings and the regular meeting of the full City Council. The standing committees are:

  • Budget Committee.
  • Business, Inspections, Housing & Zoning Committee.
  • Policy & Government Oversight Committee.
  • Public Health & Safety Committee.
  • Transportation & Public Works Committee.

The full City Council will continue to meet at 9:30 a.m. every other Friday.

This is the latest change in the City’s policy-making process since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dates and times of upcoming meetings are available on the City’s website at lims.minneapolismn.gov.


You can apply now to get your ballot for the Nov. 3 General Election

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Apply now and get your ballot right when early voting opens. Ballots will be mailed out starting Sept. 18. This will ensure plenty of time to receive your ballot, vote and then return your ballot using the postage-paid envelope.

Apply on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.

Learn more about how the City is working to ensure a safe election season during the pandemic.


Free COVID-19 testing events coming up Sept. 11, 12, 19 and 26

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Minneapolis is offering free COVID-19 testing events Sept. 11, 12, 19 and 26. All are welcome.

Free COVID-19 testing focused on the north Minneapolis community Noon-4 Friday, Sept. 11, and Saturday, Sept. 12 Shiloh Temple, 1201 W. Broadway Ave. N. Register onsite.

Free COVID-19 testing focused on the East African community Noon-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, and Saturday, Sept. 26 Abubakar As-Sadique Islamic Center, 2824 13th Ave. S. Register onsite.

You can expect to get your test results in about two days.

Resources

The test is free, and you do not need insurance for the test. If you need medical care but don’t have health insurance, the Minnesota Department of Health offers resources to find low-cost health care or health insurance.

Testing for other communities

If you are unable to attend one of these testing events, you can use this directory to find a testing location near you.


Seventh annual Minneapolis Trans Equity Summit goes virtual; Register for free online sessions Sept. 13-15

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When: Sunday, Sept 13 – Tuesday, Sept 15, 2020

What: 7th Annual (Virtual) Minneapolis Trans Equity Summit – Claiming Our Power for Change: Caring for Community

In this moment of deep pain and radical possibility, Minneapolis has been centered – globally – as a place from which potential new futures can be born. Organizers, healers and artists are redefining community, connection, and the expansiveness of their own power. As always, trans and gender non-conforming folks are leading, and it is with this knowledge that we offer this year’s Summit. The 7th annual Trans Equity Summit will hold space for community care, for collective witnessing, and for trans/GNC folks to find or further assert their place and power in this moment.

The Summit is free and open to the public, and we encourage anyone interested in furthering trans equity to attend. This is an event for trans/GNC community members to connect to resources and each other, and for potential allies to learn more about issues impacting trans/GNC community and how to integrate community visions through an equity lens.

Programming 2 – 4 p.m. and 7 – 9 p.m. daily, via Microsoft Teams and Slack.

Please register here: 7thtransequitysummit.eventbrite.com

Programming includes: career fair, resource fair, opening and closing plenaries, performances, workshops, healing justice space. Exact times of each component and names of presenters will be advertised as they are confirmed.

For ASL interpretation and all other reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please note your needs in the registration form below or contact Track Trachtenberg at track.trachtenberg@minneapolismn.gov or 612-394-0714. People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626. Para asistencia 612-673-2700 – Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 – Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

The event is hosted by the City of Minneapolis in collaboration with a number of sponsors, to be announced shortly. If you are interested in sponsoring, please contact Track Trachtenberg at track.trachtenberg@minneapolismn.gov.


Census deadline approaching fast – make sure you and your household get counted!

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Completing the census will ensure that our communities receive resources for programs and services that we need. Many programs that our communities rely on, including SNAP, Medicaid, CHIP and Head Start are funded through data that is obtained by the census. The 2020 Census is our chance to shape the future of Minneapolis for the next 10 years.

Census takers have begun following up in Minneapolis with households that haven’t yet completed the 2020 Census. Census staff have been hired locally and are here to help households complete their census forms. The goal of census door knockers is to help get an accurate count. Census staffers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge that includes their photograph and a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark.

Census field staff follow both CDC and local public health guidelines, are trained in physical distancing protocols and will provide census takers with masks during their visit. Census staff have sworn a lifetime oath of confidentiality. Any information that you provide to them will not be shared with any entity other than the Census Bureau for statistical purposes only and never to identify an individual.

Find more information here on verifying a census taker’s identity, COVID-19 protocols or the strategy to visit households that haven’t responded yet.

Fill out your census

If you haven’t yet completed the 2020 Census application and would like to avoid a census taker coming to your home, you can submit your form online, by phone or through the mail (using the U.S. Census Bureau form that you received in the mail at home). Language assistance is offered in multiple languages online or over the phone and can also be requested at your visit if they come to your home.

Take your census by Sept. 30

The U.S. Census Bureau officially announced that the 2020 Census self-response period will end Sept. 30, 2020. This means that there are less than two months remaining to ensure that our communities are counted and that we get the resources that we need for the next 10 years.

In 2010, Minneapolis had a census completion rate of 72.8%. Currently, Minneapolis has a completion rate of 69.9%. It is important – now more than ever – that our communities are counted.

Let’s get counted, Minneapolis.


Expanded bus, light rail train service coming in September

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Upcoming schedule changes will serve riders with more options and space when traveling on buses and trains.

The changes taking effect Saturday, Sept. 12, will mean that many local bus routes, the METRO A Line and the METRO C Line will have about as much service as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. The METRO Blue Line and METRO Green Line will offer 10-minute service throughout most of the day.

Because of a significant drop in demand, around 50 express bus routes will remain suspended and the Northstar Commuter Rail Line will continue to operate on a limited, weekday-only schedule.

In July, ridership on local bus routes and the METRO A Line and METRO C Line was down about 50% compared to the same month last year. Light rail train ridership was down about 75%. Increases in local bus and light rail train service will help riders keep a safe distance on buses and trains as more people return to transit.

Learn more about the changes.


35W@94 Downtown to Crosstown Construction Updates

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5th Ave. to eastbound I-94 ramp closure begins Sept. 8

MnDOT rews are ready to do some paving and earth work near 5th Ave. and 19th St. To complete this work, the ramp from 5th Ave. to eastbound I-94 will be closed beginning Tue, Sept. 8. Motorists will be detoured to Franklin Ave., Park Ave. and 6th St. The ramp will remain closed through early November.

Hwy 100 weekend closure Sept. 5-8

Beginning at 7 a.m. Sat, Sept. 5, Hwy 100 will close in both directions between Hwy 62 and Hwy 7 through 5 a.m. Tue, Sept. 8. This closure is to accommodate construction for the Southwest Light Rail project.

This will temporarily change the detour for those seeking to go from northbound I-35W to westbound I-94. During the Hwy 100 closure, motorists traveling northbound I-35W to westbound I-94 should follow the temporary detour of westbound Hwy 62 to northbound Hwy 169 to eastbound I-394. Please plan ahead and allow extra time to reach your destination.

Please drive safely in work zones

  • Slow down when approaching every work zone, then navigate through with care and caution
  • Stay alert; work zones constantly change
  • Watch for workers and slow moving equipment
  • Obey posted speed limits. Fine for a violation in a work zone is $300.
  • Minimize distractions behind the wheel
  • Be patient; expect delays, especially during peak travel times

All closures are weather permitting and subject to change.

Road work continues to be a critical service. MnDOT is committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of its employees, contractors and all Minnesotans. Crews continue to follow the guidance of state and federal health officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Stay connected

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit 511mn.org or dial 5-1-1.


MN Housing’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program opens to help with housing expenses

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Minnesota’s COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program has opened to cover housing expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, or other housing-related costs. This program will help keep folks in their homes and maintain housing stability for eligible renters and homeowners in communities across the state.

People in Minnesota interested in applying for assistance can call the Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 211 Resource Helpline at 651-291-0211, 211unitedway.org or texting “MNRENT” or “MNHOME” to 898-211. The 211 Helpline has dedicated multilingual staff to answer questions about the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

For questions regarding the application process, check the COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program frequently asked questions.


Recovery efforts being carried out to help the local business community

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As these unprecedented times test our resilience, staff across the City are working on strategic resources to begin the long path toward recovery. Since the start of the pandemic, the City’s economic development team has helped our business community start to recover through expertise, funding and adapting processes.

Overall, the City’s economic development team has connected with more than 2,000 businesses, provided more than 3,000 hours of direct customer assistance directly or through service contracts, changed licensing and regulatory processes to save businesses $1.4 million, and helped business access more than $3 billion in funding since the start of the pandemic.

Some highlights of this work include:

Expertise

  • The Small Business Team has fielded 650 calls since the beginning of April to connect businesses to resources. The team has reached out to cultural malls and damaged commercial areas and done research as part of establishing the Small Business Administration’s disaster declaration.
  • Increased resources to community-based partners and modified program guidelines provided technical assistance supporting 645 businesses. The service helped navigate employee issues, triage outstanding expenses, negotiate payments with creditors and apply for relief funds.
  • Our partners helped food establishments adapt their business models with online ordering and delivery, online sale of gift certificates, etc.
  • The City committed a total of $500,000 to 10 community-based business organizations in pandemic specific funding.

Funding

  • Made 173 loans totaling $1.55 million to businesses in targeted areas to increase equitable results. Around 70% of loan recipients identified as non-white with borrowers identifying as Black/African American as the largest overall recipient group at 42% of total loans.
  • The program provided $5,000 or $10,000 loans of flexible funding to meet immediate working capital needs such as payroll and employee benefits, rent or mortgage payments, accounts payable and payments due to supply chain.
  • Besides direct funds, our business teams helped businesses access funding from County, State and federal resources for a total (including the City funds) of almost 14,000 businesses receiving more than $3 billion.
  • The City business assistance teams relaxed permit fees and fee collections, saving businesses a collective $1.4 million.

Improved processes

  • The City streamlined reopening for 112 businesses expanding outdoors and reopening in early June by creating a guide; modifying processes and ordinances; and coordinating with the State of Minnesota, Metropolitan Council and Metro Transit.
  • City staff rooted the opening plan in racial equity and identified those impacted most by having roundtables with restaurants, labor leaders and community-based groups; and completing a racial equity impact assessment to flag barriers to the business owners and needs of the workers.

See more ways the City is working to move recovery efforts forward.


Loans available for Minneapolis individuals, businesses and nonprofits affected by civil unrest

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Minneapolis individuals, property owners, businesses and nonprofits can now apply for low-interest disaster loans. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved a disaster declaration for areas in Minnesota affected by the recent civil unrest.

Three types of SBA disaster loans

  • Home disaster loans for homeowners or renters to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate and personal property including automobiles.
  • Physical disaster loans to repair or replace disaster-damaged property owned by businesses and nonprofits including real estate, inventory and equipment. Businesses and nonprofits of any size are eligible.
  • Economic injury disaster loans for working capital to help small businesses and nonprofits meet their financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the disaster.

For help preparing financial documentation, Minneapolis businesses can consult with an advisor through the City’s Business Technical Assistance Program or contact the Minneapolis Small Business Team at 612-673-2487 or SmallBusiness@minneapolismn.gov.

Apply

Apply online here by Oct. 2 for physical disaster loans and May 3, 2021, for economic injury disaster loans.

More information

See the Small Business Administration news release and fact sheet for more information. Business and property owners with questions about the loan application can contact the SBA Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center at 571-422-6078 or 571-422-6871 or FOCE-Help@sba.gov.


City Council approves boundaries for seven new cultural districts

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The City Council has approved an ordinance establishing seven new cultural districts in Minneapolis – a designation designed to accelerate economic development and affordable housing strategies in some of the city’s most vibrant and culturally diverse areas.

The ordinance establishes cultural districts along 38th Street South, Cedar Avenue South, Central Avenue, East Lake Street, Franklin Avenue East, West Broadway and Lowry Avenue North.

As outlined in Minneapolis 2040, the City’s comprehensive plan, the goal of cultural districts is to advance racial equity, prevent displacement, preserve cultural identity and fuel economic growth in areas with a rich sense of cultural and/or linguistic identity rooted in communities significantly populated by people of color, Indigenous people and/or immigrants.

The ordinance allows the City to prioritize these areas in deploying resources to equitably advance cultural and linguistic identity, commercial vitality, stable housing and infrastructure.

Following direction from the City Council, City staff and policy leaders engaged 30 community leaders representing 20 community organizations for two years on this ordinance.

The Cultural Districts Work Group will continue to develop the remaining three requirements of the City Council’s staff direction to consider later, including:

  • Recommending policies, practices and budget resources to implement the Cultural Districts Comprehensive Plan policy.
  • Ensuring that cultural districts are supported by the City’s approved comprehensive plan, subsequent small area plans, and land use, built form and zoning policies.
  • Developing a recommended framework for a narrative, branding and promotion strategy to increase the visibility and viability of cultural districts.

Give your input on the proposed Phelps Basketball Court Mural in person or online!

Project Backboard, Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Ryan Saunders, and Streeter Custom Builder are teaming together to propose working with a local artist to transform the current outdoor basketball court at Phelps Field Park (39th & Chicago Ave So) into a large-scale art piece honoring this community’s rich heritage and vibrancy. We are partnering with Southside Boys & Girls Club and hope to complete it by summer of next year (2021).

We’d like to know what you think. Please share your thoughts by either stopping by the Phelps Basketball Court Project Booth at the upcoming ReImagine 38th St. events hosted by the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) every Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm  between Aug. 8th to Sept. 5th. You can also weigh in online using this survey: www.bit.ly/PhelpsMural2020.

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Help clean up litter Oct. 1-10 with free supplies

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Volunteer with your family and neighbors in a physically distanced litter cleanup Oct. 1-10. Pledge to pick up litter on your own street, or join a team to clean up the whole neighborhood before leaves fall and snow flies.

Use your own gloves and bags or pick up free gloves, bags and litter grabbers (while supplies last) 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 3 at several locations.

Share your results online to see the community-wide impact.

Find more information here.


Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Mask UP Graphic with Timberwolves

  • Wear masks when in public. 10-50% of virus carriers are asymptomatic, so they don’t even know they’re sick. Wearing masks helps control the virus and has been shown to lower COVID-19 spread.
  • Avoid enclosed spaces with groups of people, where the virus can linger in the air for long periods of time.
  • Get tested if you have cold or flu-like symptomsFind testing locations.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others who aren’t in your household.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
  • Do not go to “COVID parties” – Young adults face a real risk of significant illness and complications. They can also pass the virus along to family members and other people in the community.

Donate homemade face masks at Minneapolis fire stations for Mask Drive Mondays

Minneapolis residents can deliver homemade masks to their local fire station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday for Mask Drive Mondays. The City’s Health Department continues to get requests from the community for help securing masks and the donations make a big difference in meeting those needs.


Visit us at minneapolismn.gov/ward8

Central • Bryant • Bancroft • Field • Regina • Northrop • Lyndale • Kingfield

Andrea Jenkins, 350 S. Fifth St., City Hall Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415

Council Member Jeremy Schroeder: Ward 11 Update

Ward 11 Neighbors,

Below you’ll find the latest updates on key issues like COVID-19, public safety, and more. As always, you are always welcome to get in touch with me directly about issues that matter to you. The best way to reach me is by email at jeremy.schroeder@minneapolismn.gov or by calling 612-673-2211.

If you have immediate questions about City services like garbage pick-up, potholes, parking violations, and more, please call 311 or use these online reporting tools for the most efficient service.


2021 Budget Process Begins

Mayor Jacob Frey on Friday delivered his 2021 budget address, outlining his preliminary plans for next year’s investments. You can watch the full speech here. The City Council – and the public – will get more specific details on Mayor Frey’s proposed budget in the coming weeks, which I will share when they become available. Visit the City’s budget webpages to learn more about the budget process, key dates, FAQs and more. You can also watch a series of videos on the City’s budget process.

Given the ongoing economic crisis due to COVID-19, this will be another difficult budget process. Over this summer, the City Council passed an amended 2020 budget to help offset significant revenue shortfalls incurred as a result of the pandemic. The City Council will review the mayor’s recommended budget, hold a series of budget presentations in September and October, and vote on adopting the budget in December. Our process will include public hearings as well. The Board of Estimate and Taxation will also hold a public hearing in September to set the maximum property levy.


Gov. Walz Extends COVID-19 Emergency Through Sept. 11

Following guidance from public health experts, advocates for seniors, labor leaders, medical professionals, and long-term care providers, Gov. Tim Walz last week signed an executive order extending the COVID-19 peacetime emergency through Sept. 11, giving the state continued flexibility to respond to rapidly-evolving issues stemming from COVID-19.

The president’s COVID-19 national emergency remains in effect, and states of emergency are in place in all 50 states. Minnesota’s peacetime emergency protects Minnesotans against evictions and wage garnishment, provides expedited procurement power for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other equipment, allows Minnesota to re-open society strategically while following the advice of public health experts, protects workers from unsafe worker conditions, requires Minnesotans to wear a face covering in certain settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and provides economic relief and stability to those impacted by the pandemic. If Minnesota’s peacetime emergency were to end, it would jeopardize over $50 million each month in federal funding.


Tracking COVID-19 in Our Community

Five months after Gov. Walz first declared an emergency, COVID-19 cases and deaths continue in Minnesota. To see regularly updated local data, including the number of Minneapolis cases and a breakdown by neighborhood, check out the City’s interactive COVID-19 dashboard. It is critically important that we all continue to do everything possible to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Our actions so far have helped, but this pandemic is far from over and we need to keep it up. Steps we can all take every day to keep ourselves and each other safe include:

  • Wear masks when in public. Up to 50% of virus carriers are asymptomatic, so they don’t even know they’re sick. Wearing masks helps control the virus and has been shown to lower COVID-19 spread.
  • Avoid enclosed spaces with groups of people, where the virus can linger in the air for long periods of time.
  • Get tested if you have cold or flu-like symptomsFind testing locations.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others not in your household.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
  • Do not go to “COVID parties.” Young adults face a real risk of significant illness and complications. They can also pass the virus along to family members and other people in the community.

The City is still coordinating homemade mask donations. People can deliver homemade masks to any Minneapolis fire station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday. Our Health Department continues to get requests from the community for help securing masks and these donations make a big difference in meeting those needs.


Free COVID-19 Testing on Aug. 25

Minneapolis is offering another free COVID-19 testing event next Tuesday, Aug. 25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at McKnight Early Childhood Family Development Center (4225 Third Ave S). Tests are available to people arriving on foot or by car, and all are welcome. Hmong, Somali, and Spanish interpreters will be on site to help anyone who needs it. Folks can expect to get their test results in about two days. The test is free, and you do not need insurance for the test.

If you are unable to attend this testing events, use this state directory to find a testing location near you. Additionally, if you need medical care but don’t have health insurance, the Minnesota Department of Health offers resources to find low-cost health care or health insurance.


Walz Extends Eviction Ban; Housing Assistance Available

The governor’s latest extension of the peacetime emergency means that the suspension of evictions and landlord-initiated lease terminations remains in place until Sept. 11. This suspension will allow households to remain sheltered during the peacetime emergency, however tenants are still obligated to pay rent during this time. Landlords may evict tenants in certain situations, including if the tenant endangers the safety of others, engages in certain illegal activities, or significantly damages property. Under the governor’s order, evictions can also proceed if the property owner or their family member needs to move into the rental unit.

Hennepin County continues to offer assistance to residents that can be used to cover this month’s rent or past-due rent from previous months. Priority will be given to households with the lowest incomes and those not eligible for unemployment insurance. Learn more, see if you qualify, and apply for assistance here. If you do not have internet access or cannot complete the form in English call 612-302-3160.

Help is also available for homeowners struggling to meet mortgage obligations. Free assistance is available through the Minnesota Homeownership Center, which has a network of advisors who can help you understand how to prevent foreclosure and find resources to help during this challenging time. Learn more and find an advisor here.

Finally, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on household budgets, both local utility companies – Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy – have suspended shutoffs for nonpayment until further notice. Both companies are working with customers to provide help where possible. Arrange a payment plan by contacting Xcel Energy at 800-895-4999 and/or CenterPoint Energy at 800-245-2377.


Ongoing Efforts to Address Homelessness

I continue to hear from many neighbors concerned about the unprecedented uptick in homelessness that we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City continues to work with partners in other jurisdictions – including Hennepin County, the Park Board, and the State – to address this crisis. Most notably, the City this month approved a roughly $8 million funding package to expand shelter space for those experiencing homelessness. Find more information on the City’s ongoing efforts here. The Park Board, not the City, has oversight of our parks and has implemented a new permit process that allows up to 20 parks to hold temporary encampments with up to 25 tents each. See details on the Park Board’s actions and process here.


Record Turnout in Last Week’s Primary Election

More Minneapolis voters cast their ballots in this year’s primary than any other primary election in more than 50 years! In total, 130,888 ballots were cast in person or by mail – with 65% cast early. The only year with primary voting totals that come close to that is 1968, when 101,266 Minneapolis voters cast ballots. This is huge news, and I’m proud of our community and voters citywide for showing up to be heard at the polls. We should all extend our thanks as well to the hardworking Elections & Voter Services staff here at the City who ensure we can all vote safely and efficiently – even during a global pandemic.

It’s not too early to start preparing for the Nov. 3 general election. Start by checking your voter registration here. Public health officials continue to encourage voting by mail to help limit crowding at polling places, and I encourage you to take a couple minutes to request your mail-in ballot for the general election today. By doing so, you’ll receive your ballot several weeks before Election Day – giving you ample time to send it back or drop it off at our Early Vote Center. It comes with a postage-paid envelope to return it and an I Voted sticker. More than 7,100 Ward 11 residents – including me — voted by mail in the primary. It’s easy, quick, and helps keep our neighbors and election works safe as we deal with COVID-19. Find more information on voting by mail here.


City Pushes State to Divest from Fossil Fuels

The City Council passed a resolution I co-authored urging state officials to fully divest public employees’ pension funds from fossil fuel interests that not only contribute to our climate crisis but underperform other types of less-volatile investments. The State Board of Investment is responsible for investment management of retirement funds, including those of current and former City employees. Our resolution calls for the divestment process to begin this year, a move which would help to protect public workers’ retirement savings from risk and volatility. The City last year declared a Climate Emergency, and it is our responsibility to take climate action where can and push others to do the same. I am hopeful that the leaders who oversee the Board of Investment – including Gov. Tim Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, State Auditor Julie Blaha, and Secretary of State Steve Simon – will accelerate divestment efforts at the state level.


Learn About the History of Interstate 35W

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) is hosting an interactive virtual event this Wednesday, Aug. 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. where you can learn about the history of Interstate 35W. This event – hosted in partnership with the Hennepin History Museum and the University of Minnesota – will highlight opposition to the freeway, its impacts on communities of color, and concerns over equity and environmental justice. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and share their own perspectives and stories. Learn more about the event and see how to participate here.

To stay up to date on MnDOT’s current 35W reconstruction project, visit the project website.


Trans Equity Summit Goes Virtual

The City is hosting its seventh-annual Trans Equity Summit between Sept. 13 and 15, and this year it will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s theme is “Claiming Our Power for Change: Caring for Community.” Programming includes breakout sessions, performances, a job and resource fair, and healing justice offerings. The summit is free and open to the public, and interested in furthering trans equity is encouraged to attend. Find more details and register here.


Tips to Make Your Produce Last Longer

Did you know that as much as 40% of food in the U.S. goes to waste each year? About one-third of that is generated by people at home. Learning how to properly store fresh produce is one way you can help limit your household’s food waste. Especially as we enter peak growing season in our community, these tips from our Solid Waste & Recycling staff might come in handy:

  • Apples: store in the refrigerator; eat bruised ones first and keep them away from non-bruised apples; for longer storage, put them in a cardboard box covered with a damp towel
  • Berries: store in an airtight container, unwashed in the refrigerator or freezer
  • Carrots: cut off the tops to keep them fresher longer; store in the refrigerator in a container of water or unwashed in an airtight container in the crisper drawer with plenty of moisture
  • Celery: store in the refrigerator in a glass of water or in an airtight container
  • Cucumbers: store in the refrigerator in a glass of water, stalk down, or wrapped in a moist towel
  • Green beans: store unwashed in the refrigerator in an airtight container
  • Herbs: store in the refrigerator with stems down in water, except for basil, which should be stored on the counter in a glass of water; you can also chop and freeze herbs with olive oil in ice cube trays
  • Melons: store in a cool, dry place out of the sun; move to the refrigerator only when ripe
  • Tomatoes: store on the counter; if very ripe, move to refrigerator; store separately from other produce as they give of ethylene gas that can affect other items
  • Zucchini: wrap whole or cut ends in a damp cloth; keep in the refrigerator

Blood and Plasma Donations Still Needed

The Red Cross is still in need of blood donations. You can still safely donate blood during the COVID-19 pandemic and eligible donors can do so every eight weeks. You can find donation locations and make an appointment through the Red Cross here or Memorial Blood Centers here. All blood types are needed. The Red Cross is now screening all donations for COVID-19 antibodies, a key indicator of previous exposure to the virus. They will share those results with individual donors within a few days.

People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. Use of this plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or life-threatening COVID-19 infections. In coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Red Cross is seeking folks who are fully recovered from COVID-19 to sign up to donate plasma to help current patientsFind more information on current blood and plasma needs here.


Virtual Community Conversation Next Week

I will host my next virtual Community Conversation next Tuesday, Aug. 25 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. In keeping with guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, I will host this meeting via Skype. All Ward 11 community members are welcome to join online or by phone. In the interest of keeping this conversation as constructive and productive as possible (and to avoid frustrations with background noise) I will be taking questions via email and answering them on the call. If there are specific questions or topics you would like to discuss, please email them to jeremy.schroeder@minneapolismn.gov. You can send them in advance of Wednesday’s event or during it. We’ll get through as many as we can during our time together.

To participate, click this link during the meeting time on Thursday. Alternatively, you can join by calling 612-276-6670 and entering 170572097# as your conference ID.


Wash your hands and cover your face!

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

From Jeremy Schroeder: Don’t forget to Vote tomorrow!

Greetings, Ward 11!

Tomorrow – Tuesday, Aug. 11 – is Primary Election Day in Minnesota. In this election, voters determine which candidates from each party will appear on the ballot in November’s general election. Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services staff is working hard to make sure every voter in our community is heard.

You have several options for casting your ballot today and tomorrow:

polling

If you already mailed in your ballot, you can check its status here. If you haven’t yet voted, you can see what’s on your ballot here.

More than 63,000 Minneapolis voters have cast their primary ballots already, including 5,600 Ward 11 residents. Let’s get that number as high as possible by the time the polls close at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

In solidarity and community,

Jeremy

Remind your family, friends, and neighbors to vote!

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.

Andrea Jenkins, City Council Vice President: 8th Ward Update

Charter Commission keeps public safety charter amendment off 2020 ballot

city of minneapolis banner

The Charter Commission voted Aug. 5 to delay a City Council proposal to amend the City Charter through a ballot vote this year. The proposal would have asked voters in the Nov. 3 general election to establish a new Department of Community Safety & Violence Prevention.

The Charter Commission, a 15-member body appointed by the chief judge of the Hennepin County District Court, has 90 days to submit a recommendation to the City Council on the amendment language, which could then be added to the ballot for the November 2021 election.

Find more information about the proposed charter amendment here.


Voters: get your ballot in early without leaving your vehicle with drive-through ballot drop-off

graphic for drive thru voting

Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services will have a drive-through option at 980 E. Hennepin Ave. for voters returning their completed mail ballots. Keeping people in their vehicles or on their bikes not only makes returning ballots faster and more convenient, it also helps people maintain a good physical distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With less than a week before the Aug. 11 primary, the City recommends ballots not be mailed back because they may not be delivered in time to be counted. Instead, mail ballots may be dropped off at Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services, 980 East Hennepin Ave., from now until the primary. Minneapolis voters may also drop off mail ballots at the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th St., in the skyway level of the building. (NOTE: Demonstrations of the drive-through process are available to the media today upon request. To schedule one, please contact Casper Hill, 612-432-5749.)

For the State primary, a voter’s ballot will count as long as it is postmarked on or before the day of the primary (Aug. 11) and is received in the mail no later than two days after the primary (Aug. 13). This is a change from previous election law requiring mail ballots to be received by the day of the primary.

Hours for Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8. and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10. Voters delivering their ballots the day of the State primary, Aug. 11, must bring it to the office no later than 3 p.m. Ballots may not be dropped off at polling places on Aug. 11.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging voting early by mail, and Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services supports voting early by mail and other CDC and Minneapolis Department of Health recommendations to make sure every voter in Minneapolis can safely cast their ballots this election year.

What’s on the ballot?

Minneapolis voters will cast ballots for the following primary races:

  • U.S. Senator.
  • United States Representative (District 5).
  • State Senator and State Representative (some districts).
  • School Board Member At Large.
  • School Board Member (some districts).

Voters who live in Ward 6 will also be voting in the special election to fill the vacant City Council seat. Because this municipal race is conducted using Ranked Choice Voting, there is no primary election necessary.

State law allows voters to bring materials into the polls to help complete their ballots — and the sample ballot is the single, best tool available for this purpose. By downloading and printing their sample ballots (which are customized to their specific ward and precinct), voters can practice marking their ballots. They can bring this marked-up sample ballot as a reference to the voting booth when completing their official ballots. This is the best way to reduce the time spent waiting in lines.

Find sample ballots for all 134 Minneapolis precincts here: vote.minneapolismn.gov/voters/ballot.


35W@94 Downtown to Crosstown Construction Updates

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Midtown Greenway closure Aug. 11

As work continues on the new northbound I-35W bridge over the Midtown Greenway, crews are ready to pour the bridge deck. To do this safely, the Midtown Greenway will be closed from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tue, Aug. 11. The detour routes include:

  • Westbound bicyclists: Northbound 5th Ave. to westbound 26th St. to southbound Blaisdell Ave. to eastbound 29th St.
  • Eastbound bicyclists: Northbound Nicollet Ave. to eastbound 28th St. to southbound 5th Ave.
  • Pedestrians: Nicollet Ave., 28th St. and 5th Ave.

Lake St. gas main installation complete

CenterPoint has completed the gas main installation along Lake St. between Blaisdell Ave. and 5th Ave. The new gas main installation is part of the Lake St. reconstruction work. Reconstruction work is expected to continue through the end of the year on the eastbound lanes. Motorists should expect intermittent intersections closures as crews continue the reconstruction work. All efforts will be made to keep detours within one block of Lake St.

Westbound Interstate 94 to close Aug. 7-10

Crews continue to resurface I-94 in Minneapolis this weekend near the I-35W@94 project. Westbound I-94 will be closed between Hwy 280 and I-35W, beginning 10 p.m. Fri, Aug. 7 through 4 a.m. Mon, Aug. 10. Ramps will start to close at 8 p.m. Motorists can use the detour of northbound I-35E, to westbound Hwy 36 to southbound I-35W to westbound I-94.

Next week, I-94 in both directions will be closed between I-394 and I-35W Fri, Aug. 14 through Mon, Aug. 17.

Stay connected

For real-time travel information anywhere in Minnesota visit 511mn.org or dial 5-1-1.


Important census updates: complete your census by Sept. 30, census takers begin door knocking

census deadline

Beginning on August 6, census takers began knocking on doors to interview households in select locations, including Hennepin County, who have not yet completed the 2020 Census. The majority of census offices across the country will begin follow-up work on August 11.

Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received, by responding online at 2020census.gov, or by phone at 844-330-2020. Households can also respond online or by phone in one of 13 languages and find assistance in many more. Those that respond in advance will not need to be visited by a census worker at their home. Everyone counts, everyone should complete the census.

What Households Can Expect

Census takers will wear face masks while conducting their work. They will follow CDC and local public health guidelines when they visit. Census takers must complete a virtual COVID-19 training on social distancing protocols and other health and safety guidance before beginning their work in neighborhoods.

Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does.

If no one is home when the census taker visits, they will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.

How to Identify Census Takers

Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, you may contact our Chicago regional census center by calling 312-579-1500.

About the 2020 Census

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone who lives in the United States on April 1, 2020 (Census Day). Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and informs how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers annually for the next 10 years. For more information, visit 2020census.gov.

The Census Self-Response period will end one month sooner than planned

On Monday, August 3rd, the U.S. Census Bureau officially announced that the 2020 Census Self-Response period will end September 30, 2020, one month earlier than planned. We will end field data collection by September 30, 2020. Self-response options will also close on that date to begin data processing in order to meet the deadline of December 31, 2020. View the complete press release from U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham at: www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2020/delivering-complete-accurate-count.html.

There are no exceptions to anyone residing in the U.S. Everyone counts.

On Tuesday, July 21, President Donald Trump signed a memorandum claiming that undocumented migrants should not be counted in the census for purposes of deciding how many members of Congress are apportioned to each state. This is unconstitutional and has, understandably, stoked fears among these communities. Everyone counts and everyone residing in our country must complete the 2020 Census. We must remember if it wasn’t so important for everyone to be counted in our censuses, then attempts to suppress a complete, accurate count would not exist.

Our State Attorney General Keith Ellison has joined a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of President Trump’s memorandum, which can be found at: www.ag.state.mn.us/Office/Communications/2020/07/24_Census.asp.

Your census responses are confidential. Any information you provide to the U.S. Census Bureau is confidential. The bureau is not allowed to share an individual’s responses with immigration enforcement agencies or law enforcement agencies.

#WeCountMpls Check the City of Minneapolis’ web page for a host of info related to Census resources, online events, and a timely self-response map to know where counting is and is not happening in our city, state and nation, and more: www2.minneapolismn.gov/census/index.htm.


Community recommendations presented to help accelerate recovery and transformation

city of minneapolis banner

City leaders and members of the Minneapolis Forward: Community Now Coalition presented the first round of community-led recommendations to help accelerate recovery and transformation efforts in Minneapolis following the civil unrest and public response to the death of George Floyd.

See more information and watch the briefing here.


Free COVID-19 testing events coming up Aug. 11 and 15

covid-19 testing flyer

Minneapolis is offering free COVID-19 testing events Aug. 11 and 15. All are welcomed. The tests are available to people arriving on foot or by car.

Free COVID-19 testing focused on PICA Head Start families 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11 Fraser Early Childhood Center, 700 Humboldt Ave. N. Sign up here now for an appointment, or call 1-855-612-0677 if you can’t sign up online or need a translator to sign up. Hmong, Somali and Spanish interpreters will be onsite.

Free COVID-19 testing focused on Latinx community members 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15 Incarnation-Sagrado Corazon Church, 3817 Pleasant Ave. S. Register onsite. Registration forms are available in English and Spanish. Spanish interpreters will be onsite. If you have medical insurance, please bring your insurance card.

Testing for other communities

If you are unable to attend one of these testing events, you can use this directory to find a testing location near you.


Updates from the City’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

Stricter ‘public charge’ rule halted, determinations revert to 1999 rules

A more restrictive “public charge” rule implemented this year has been halted by nationwide federal court injunction. No part of the new public charge rules are in effect, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that as long as the July 29 injunction remains in place, it will use only previous 1999 guidance in making public charge determinations.

The public charge test is an analysis of whether a person applying for permanent resident (“green card”) status is likely to become primarily dependent upon public benefits. If the answer is yes, the person’s application for permanent resident status can be denied.

More information

See the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services notice describing its procedures in light of the injunction.

Trusted legal service providers are ready to offer free legal advice. People can call the Mid Minnesota Legal Aid hotline at 800-292-4150 with public charge questions or consult with the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. Their contact information is on the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs webpage.

dhs flyer on public charge

Filing fee hike coming Oct. 2 for immigration applications

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will increase filing fees on many immigration applications and eliminate most fee waivers. This final fee rule will go into effect Oct. 2 unless halted by a federal court.

These major fee changes include increasing the cost to apply for U.S. citizenship to $1,170 and to apply for permanent residency (“green card” status) to $2,270, imposing a filing fee for the first time on asylum applications, and eliminating or reducing almost all fee waivers. These costs will create enormous barriers for immigrants and refugees trying to change or obtain immigration status for themselves and their family members.

If you are considering applying for immigration status, please take immediate steps to consult with a competent immigration attorney on filing an application before these fee hikes go into effect Oct. 2.

More information

For more information or to get help, please contact the City of Minneapolis Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, or see its list of trusted nonprofit legal service providers. The list ensures that residents have access to competent immigration legal services regardless of their ability to pay.

You can contact the City’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs at oira@minneapolismn.gov or 612-394-6018.


Mark your calendars for CANDO’s ReImagine 38th St. events every Saturday Aug. 8 – Sept. 5 from 11 am to 5 pm

reimagine 38th st street fair

Join the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) for their ReImagine 38th St. Event series.

When: Every Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm  between Aug. 8th to Sept. 5th

Where: George Floyd’s Memorial – 3759 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN, Minneapolis, MN 55407

More information can be found through CANDO’s Facebook Event link here: https://www.facebook.com/events/3795527157142345/.


Give your input on the proposed Phelps Basketball Court Mural in person or online!

Project Backboard, Minnesota Timberwolves Coach Ryan Saunders, and Streeter Custom Builder are teaming together to propose working with a local artist to transform the current outdoor basketball court at Phelps Field Park (39th & Chicago Ave So) into a large-scale art piece honoring this community’s rich heritage and vibrancy. We are partnering with Southside Boys & Girls Club and hope to complete it by summer of next year (2021).

We’d like to know what you think. Please share your thoughts by either stopping by the Phelps Basketball Court Project Booth at the upcoming ReImagine 38th St. events hosted by the Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization (CANDO) every Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm  between Aug. 8th to Sept. 5th. You can also weigh in online using this survey: www.bit.ly/PhelpsMural2020.

phelps park basketball court muralPhelps Basketball Court Mural survey


City seeking diversity of applicants for fall openings on boards and commissions appointments

city of minneapolis banner

Twenty-four City boards and commissions have openings for appointments this fall. The City seeks applicants with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences representing the demographics of Minneapolis to strengthen the work of the City. Translation and interpreting services are available so all residents can participate. The positions are open until filled; application review begins Sept. 30 unless marked otherwise.

City boards and commissions have brought forward recommendations that resulted in renter protections, wage protections and a ban on a hazardous chemical in dry cleaning. Board and commission members in the City of Minneapolis help shape key policy decisions, give community-based input into the City’s administration of services and supply valuable insights.

People can apply through the open position pages linked below and stay up to date on vacancies, position descriptions and timelines by visiting minneapolismn.gov/boards/openings. Applications are open now.

These 24 City boards and commissions have 97 open positions:

Boards, commissions and advisory committees

The City of Minneapolis has more than 50 volunteer-based boards, commissions and advisory committees that advise the City on issues and help develop policy and administer services. Boards and commissions fall into a handful of categories: appeal boards, development boards, general advisory boards and special service districts (defined areas within the city with special services).

Appointments to boards and commissions are made twice a year: in the spring and fall.

Potential applicants can find more information at 612-673-2216 or OpenAppointments@minneapolismn.gov.


Save the date for the City’s Seventh Annual Trans Equity Summit for Sept. 13-15

trans equity summit save the date

The 2020 Trans Equity Summit will be Sept. 13-15, virtual and outdoor in person, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. daily. Programming will include breakout sessions, performances, a job and resource fair, and healing justice offerings.

This year’s theme is “Claiming Our Power for Change: Caring for Community.” It reflects a critical need for trans/GNC folks to embody themselves through community care, bear witness to one another without sacrifice and with joy, condition their collective emotional-spiritual excellence, and prepare to assert their power in the dramatic reshaping of Minneapolis.

The summit is free and open to the public. Watch for updates on the City website.


Everyone can work to reduce the spread of COVID-19

face covering graphic from MN health department

  • Wear masks when in public. 10-50% of virus carriers are asymptomatic, so they don’t even know they’re sick. Wearing masks helps control the virus and has been shown to lower COVID-19 spread.
  • Avoid enclosed spaces with groups of people, where the virus can linger in the air for long periods of time.
  • Get tested if you have cold or flu-like symptomsFind testing locations.
  • Stay 6 feet away from others who aren’t in your household.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom or before eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose and mouth – with unwashed hands.
  • Do not go to “COVID parties” – Young adults face a real risk of significant illness and complications. They can also pass the virus along to family members and other people in the community.

Donate homemade face masks at Minneapolis fire stations for Mask Drive Mondays

Minneapolis residents can deliver homemade masks to their local fire station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Monday for Mask Drive Mondays. The City’s Health Department continues to get requests from the community for help securing masks and the donations make a big difference in meeting those needs.

Statewide mask mandate in effect

Minnesotans are required to wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings. Researchers have advocated for masking, calling it a simple and effective step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The State regulation reinforces Mayor Jacob Frey’s emergency regulation requiring people in Minneapolis to wear cloth face masks or coverings when they are in an indoor place of public accommodation.

Businesses are not required to provide masks to customers or employees themselves, though employers shall be required to mandate the use of masks by their staff. Non-compliance should be reported through 311.

Watch and share this Minnesota Department of Health video.

For information and resources on the mask mandate, including frequently asked questions, visit mn.gov/COVID19.


Visit us at minneapolismn.gov/ward8

Central • Bryant • Bancroft • Field • Regina • Northrop • Lyndale • Kingfield

Andrea Jenkins, 350 S. Fifth St., City Hall Room 307, Minneapolis, MN 55415

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.